Smart District Gnigl - from the vision Smart City Salzburg to a showcase

In 2012, the Salzburg City Council decided the Smart City master plan 2025. Both the optimization of settlements as well as the role model of the city, as the owner of public buildings and equipment, have been attached great importance. The upcoming renovation of the kindergarten in Gnigl initialized further considerations and led to the project “Smart District”. In cooperation with the City of Salzburg, the idea of “education campus Gnigl” was developed. The shabby kindergarten, the old elementary school from 1927 and the adjacent clubhouse should be merged into a new building. To provide enough space for the new education campus two residential buildings were torn down and replaced in one residential building in place of the old kindergarten.

Contents and objectives

The new education campus should be built as an energetic showcase and provide a positive development for the entire district. In consideration of possible local heat potentials (e.g.: Niederlassung Bäckerei Flöckner) available surplus heat opens up the possibility of setting up a local district heating network. The restructuring provides opportunities for innovative local mobility solutions and the construction of a central station for mobility services.

There are two main goals – to optimize the new building “Education Campus Gnigl” and the recreation of “Smart District Gnigl”.


Based on four categories, building, energy, mobility and information, the project enables the implementation of smart city elements in the Gnigl district. The development of guidelines for the architectural competition, an economic analysis for the district heating network, potentials for further energy recovery opportunities, development of mobility solutions with citizen involvement and the analysis of energy saving potentials of surrounding building stock.


Most valuable for the city of Salzburg is probably the knowledge for future projects. Smart District Gnigl was sort of the Smart City Salzburg pilot project. It soon became clear what ambitious climate targets mean to implement. Not only financial resources, but also, very significantly, the urgent need for correspondingly sensitized and knowledgeable people who enjoy it to think outside the box. This applies not only to municipal government level, but also for politics and business. Through Smart District Gnigl existing networks were strengthened with relevant stakeholders.

The framework for Smart City Activities Salzburg has improved greatly and new possibilities are opening up through the intense political support of both city councils of planning and building department. The financial resources have recently been increased and instructed the SIR for the years ahead with the process support of the city. Based on experience from the Bildungscampus Gnigl architects’ competition standards for city-owned building projects be revised and energy efficiency criteria implemented. Currently a standardized procedure for tendering of highly efficient ecological buildings is being developed and tested at the new building of the nursing home Itzling in cooperation with klimaaktiv.

Next project is the construction of the Energy Plus Gymnasium in Liefering. At district level the experience is used to the conception of heat-supply strategies and incorporated into subsequent projects in the districts of Schallmoos and Itzling. Detailed technical results are summarized in the appended Debriefing-align the individual work packages.

Outlook/suggestions for future research

The project Smart District Gnigl has shown that especially implementation strategies are needed for the conception of lighthouse buildings and for further development of existing neighbourhoods, in addition to specialized know-how. Many questions require not only a purely technical solutions, but also organizational.

For example in buildings: essential for the development of sustainable buildings is the project development phase and the architects competition. Sustainable building standards are broadly defined (technically). The challenge is to thread these criteria at the right level at the right time in the process.

Important, however, is not only the quality of criteria but also the quality of processes. A competent jury ist also in terms of efficiency and sustainability able to judge causes more than pages off letters convolute.

The same applies to mobility issues. Ideas for future mobility solutions are available (neighbourhoods garage, parking management, sharing services, …). The challenge is in the educational work, awareness of citizens and policy and ultimately in the development of strategies for order-reduction and financing. Similarly, there is the development of cross-building energy supply concepts, in addition to the factually correct and important economic calculation of the profitability of district heating networks to clarify organizational issues. Based on these findings the city of Salzburg in future will be concerned with the following topics: sustainability in architectural competitions, implementation of mobility concepts, conditions of energy planning, consolidation / expansion of building databases, optimization of project development and planning processes.

Project data – Implementation project of the 2nd Call 2011
Project start: 01.06.2012
Project end: 30.04.2015
Approved funding: € 223.500,–
Paid out funding: € 223.500,–
Stadt Salzburg (Lead)
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
SIR – Salzburger Institut für Raumordnung und Wohnen
Salzburg AG  für Energie, Verkehr und Telekommunikation
Architekten Scheicher ZT Gesellschaft m.b.H.
Komobile Gmunden GmbH
pro:21 GmbH


Project lead

Ing. MSc Franz Huemer
City of Salzburg

Tel: +43(0)662 8072-2484