LIVING GREEN CITY Graz – 3D Green & 3D Participation – cooperative development of a liveable green district including the existing buildings and their inhabitants


Fig.:        LIVING GREEN CITY Graz – Logo (LGC Graz)
Photos:  StadtLabor Graz | TU Graz (DI Andreas Goritschnig)

promoted by “Klima- und Energiefonds” – Smart Cities Demo – 06. tender


Project content:

Graz – like other cities in Central Europe – is experiencing a high population growth, the reason why construction activities increasingly put pressure on green urban spaces and their potential uses. One implication is increased conflict and controversy about the remaining spaces and a reduction of the quality of life. After all, green spaces are crucial catalysts for clean air and a healthy environment as well as for social interaction in public spaces.

We started searching for ideas to make cities more green beyond greening vacant spaces and exploring the possibilities of ‘vertical greening’ of cellars, roofs or walls of bo th private and office buildings. We call this a ‘3d approach to greening the city’. Citizen participation, both planning and implementation of urban green infrastructure were important aspects of this approach and should help exploit its potential, while ensuring ownership, acceptance and sustainability.


Objectives and innovation content

The overarching goal of this research project was the establishment of a specific testbed/lab zone to explore new approaches for living green infrastructure development in the Waagner-Biro district. The project has targeted existing as well as planned buildings and spaces within the district. Technical, economic, social and philosophical perspectives have been considered.

Can we make a better use of the potential of existing and planned architectures, to create new green spaces for recreational and public use (eg. water retention, climate resilience) ? Can we design 3d processes of participation, to see urban development as a multidimensional process in which people, institutions and bio-systems jointly co-produce the city? The vision of a living green city demands new and multi-disciplinary learning and development processes that go far beyond existing urban planning practices.



The results of this research project are qualitative and, where possible, quantified analysis, statements and concepts with regard to the technical, social and economic viability of living green urban infrastructure. There have also been realised a set of prototypes and described concrete policy measures for the multi-dimensional development of new and existing urban green infrastructure, green areas and spaces in the testbed. The most important and aplicable lessons learned to other future smart city projects have been described.

It requires both, “hardware” (investment-related, structural, spatial and technological measures) such as the corresponding “software” (care, processes, communication, cooperation, knowledge, accompaniment, anchoring) to transform a city into a living, related, inclusive and resilient green habitat.

Interdisciplinarity is part of the solution. Interdisciplinary cooperation takes time; carefully preparation and open-mindedness at the same time; as well as the appreciative, interested and inquisitive attitude of all involved disciplines / sectors / stakeholders to arrive new and better integrated solutions.

In the long term, therefore, the crucial framework conditions and priorities can be adapted in such a way that multi-dimensional Green Urban Infrastructure is no longer only the wish of all stakeholders, but realizable and realized reality.

The full power of communication, inclusion, and health unfolds Urban green spaces, when the people who use, revive and reproduce them every day, are part of it. And if their interests and needs, their everyday knowledge, and their ability to take part, are part of ideas, planning and transformation processes since of the beginning.



LGC Graz consortium




Author: LGC- research consortium | Johannes Anschober, BSc