The project was aimed at a vision of “zero emissions cities”. This called for implementing intelligent, eco-friendly energy technologies. The emphasis was on the integration of technologies that were already available and the consideration of efficient energy usage (primarily high-efficiency buildings, energy efficiency in public and private facilities), the inclusion of renewable energies, mobility and smart grids.
Located in the greater Vienna area, the townships of Perchtoldsdorf and Brunn am Gebirge are adjacent to the southern border of the Austrian capital. They are part of the Lower Austrian district of Mödling, which is distinguished by generally high incomes and a growing influx of people from Vienna’s downtown area and/or its environs. The district is small in terms of surface area, but has a strong economic structure and the highest tax revenue overall in Austria.
The area surrounding Vienna is generally characterized by dynamic development and a growing need for energy and mobility in the various communities. Over the long term, the current energy infrastructure will require restructuring so as to facilitate the integration of existing and renewable energy sources and to guarantee a high degree of security and reliability of the energy supply and thus be prepared to meet the future demands of an efficient modern-day supply.
In order to cope with these and other challenges, a comprehensive and innovative approach for a vision of an “intelligent city” (“smart city”), or even better, a “smart suburban region” was chosen. With regard to development of energy services and infrastructure – including the entire urban and spatial planning, energy supply and communal services in general – it was essential for the communities in the region to increasingly seek cooperative ventures.
The “Smart Suburb” project developed a vision for both of the participating communities. Furthermore, a technical feasibility study for the implementation of a demo project was conducted. This allowed for greater use of the resulting synergies.
In line with the objectives of the “Smart Energy Demo” program for a ‘zero emission city’, energy suppliers, energy and mobility service providers and financing institutions were involved in order to test new business models for the provision of intelligent solutions (power, heat, mobility) within the community to thereby gain experience and minimize long-term developmental risks.
By the year 2050, the CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 80% as compared to 2010, whereby the emissions from heat generation will decrease more than those resulting from power generation. The underlying assumption here is that for the most part motor vehicle traffic would be covered by electromobility.
Defining a common vision and/or strategy for “smart suburb” enabled the creation of the framework within which the various technologies (such as power generation and distribution, grids, e-mobility) could be implemented (establishment of a roadmap). This momentum was utilized in the first stage so that joint work on specific projects was accomplished in order to make progress toward the vision of the “smart city”. Additional research and development was used in support of keeping this process going or creating new incentives.