Newsletter sub>urban. Reinventing the fringe | The Vösendorf-Siebenhirten story in Vienna

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A tale of the future

Düsseldorf interviews Vienna for our 'The Curious Neighbour' section

Vienna’s southern border has a fragmented urban landscape, consisting of wasteland among industrial and commercial zones, historic villages, farmland facing highways, wilderness, ponds and new residential areas. You can really see and feel the different layers of urban development that took place over the last decades here. Linked to the need of dwellings in the fast growing Vienna metropolitan region, today the sub>urban project area Vienna-Vösendorf–Siebenhirten is undergoing a dynamic transformation process. But transformation to what end? What are the points of reference, in an area which can develop in any direction? This led the city of Düsseldorf to ask their partners in Vienna how they envision the transformation of the fragmented urban landscape will take place and what they are undertaking to achieve this?

Planning students signpost the Vienna-Lower Austrian fringe area

Copyright: TU Wien, Department for Regional Planning and Development

“Vienna needs a strong vision for the future to design the transformation process" says Paul Grohmann from the Vienna urban planning department. "In trying to translate this vision into concrete actions of transformation, we encountered some hurdles to overcome: the complexity of the area made us realise that we cannot take those hurdles sitting in an ivory tower. If we are to address this properly, we want to take into account other opinions and insights. Also, given the diversity of the landscape, we need to develop a comprehensive approach. This requires some exploration, study and mapping of all the issues we might stumble upon. This cooperation, exchange of knowledge and identification of all the components are the main ingredients of the story - 'the Siebenhirten-Vösendorf story' - which will be the translation of Vienna's vision for the transformation of the area."  

Charged with these tasks, Vienna held a start-up workshop ‘The story begins…’ in April 2017, exploring potential places of intervention, discussing ideas and mapping future stories. This workshop was the run-up to a fully fledged two-day symposium 'Stories from the fringe' on the 29th and 30th of May, where the sown seeds were reaped.

Read the website article on the two-day symposium here.


OASE: a green festival in Kjeslrud, the Oslo fringe

Cities across Europe are increasingly seeking ways to make them more sustainable and green. The City Council in Oslo for instance ranks the “green shift” high on its priority list. Establishing ByKuben - the Oslo Center for Urban Ecology – is one of Oslo's key measures. An excellent example of how Bykuben is working towards a sustainable future, was by organising a new one-day festival, on the 21st of June, in the otherwise hidden and forgotten park at kjelsrud, filled with people, professional presentations, debates, park games, urban gardening, exhibitions, stands, local food and live music. Kjelsrud is an area within the city fringe of Oslo, and one out of five sub>urban pilot sites. Collaboration between the ByKuben team, the group working with the legally binding zoning plan for the Kjelsrud area and the sub>urban project, has enabled us to put the spotlight on Kjelsrud. 

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Copyright: Planning and Building Agency of Oslo

The festival was called “OASE:Kjelsrud”, or “Oasis” in English, quite literarily pointing to the park where the festival was held: a green refuge in the midst of a concrete desert. The aims of the festival were a) to exchange knowledge on urban ecology with transfer value for all our pilot projects, b) to draw peoples’ attention to the site’s qualities and potentials, and c) to initiate a placemaking process leading to transformation into a more multifunctional, green and sustainable area. The enthusiastic participation of all those who contributed to the festival – including some professional actors - made it a social, fun and learning event, also for schoolchildren. The aim is that OASE is carried on as a theme for mini festivals to explore the potential of city fringe areas in Hovinbyen and Groruddalen in the years to come.

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Copyright: Planning and Building agency of Oslo

Link to a Norwegian article on the festival.

For more information on the Oslo ULG, contact


Joining the EU urban agenda

The Urban Agenda for the EU is a new working method to ensure maximum utilisation of the growth potential of cities and to successfully tackle social challenges. Member States, Cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders work together on the future of cities in 12 partnerships. Antwerp is a member of the partnership 'sustainable use of land and nature-based solutions'. It is the first time that Europe invites cities at the table to discuss and draft a European Agenda, together with organisations that represent or work together with cities such as URBACT and EUROCITIES.

The kick-off meeting of the partnership was held on the 12th and 13th of July in Warsaw. Poland and Bologna are jointly coordinating this partnership. In this newsletter we will regularly give you feedback about the partnership. A first draft of the scoping paper was prepared by Poland and discussed in this meeting. You will find it here.

The partnerships will make action plans around better legislation, better funding and better knowledge on the topic. You can find more information about the 2 year partnership process here. Especially look at the present public feedback of the Housing partnership which might be interesting for our topics, especially the toolkit for affordable housing which is a draft database that maps 26 initiatives to create affordable housing and mixed neighbourhoods.

You can find more information about the partnerships on the this website


A Belgian NUP

It is our pleasure to inform you Belgium has established a National URBACT point: the collaboration between Lepur (University of Liège) and AMRP (University of Ghent) has been selected to act as the Belgian NUP. We hereby warmly welcome Zoé Lejeune, acting focal point, to the URBACT family!

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Copyright: URBACT Belgium

The past months Lepur has been working together with the URBACT secretariat on spreading knowledge regarding URBACT throughout Belgium. In the coming months, the Belgian NUP will be focusing on communicating about URBACT related activities, networks and opportunities, spreading URBACT results and methods among existing initiatives, expanding the URBACT network in Belgium and organising an event on URBACT networks and Good Practices.

Register for the 'URBACT Networks and Good Practices' event here.

NUP contact:

URBACT Belgium


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