Only a 30-minute subway ride from the central part of Vienna is Seestadt Aspern Smart City, a new town developed a decade ago from an determined plan by the Austrian government to make a smart city with a smart energy policy.
Seestadt Aspern was called “Best Smart Project” at the 2016 international World Smart City Awards. The city beat more than 250 schemes from 45 countries at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, the world’s biggest event on the subject.
For outsiders, Seestadt Aspern is rare in the context of Austria, a country where people frequently remember the natural scenes from the Hollywood movie The Sound of Music, its outstanding traditional architecture and, of course, its classical music.
Seestadt Aspern does not have an opera house or a castle. It was built just a decade ago as a city for a future where people reside with the impact of climate change, a future that needs cities and residents to be smarter.
And beneath the surface lives an ambitious energy plan.
Aspern Smart City Research (ASCR) is an Austrian government start to create a prototype for new urban cities powered by smart energy policies and answers.
The government has made a promise to generate 100% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2030, compared to the present proportion of 70%, rendering to Georg Pammer, managing director of ASCR.
Austria is a country blessed with energy manufactured by hydro dams, but these have attracted disapproval, so the government has desires to harness more power from the sun instead. Adding more dams would need inundating an even larger region with water.