Urban development areas in the north of Vienna are to be accessed through the Stadtstraße. If the project is prevented, the city fears an increase in rents in the private sector.
Work on Stadtstrasse and Spange Aspern has not yet started. Infrastructure Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) left the decision to the City of Vienna, but the construction sites are still occupied. The activists also make it clear that the end of the Lobau Tunnel is not enough for them. On the contrary: “We will stop the city street in the same way now,” they say. Instead, the environmentalists are now calling for cycling, walking and public transport to be expanded. At the same time, the city never tires of emphasizing that affordable housing for 60,000 people also depends on the city street. Not only the Seestadt Nord are affected, but also other urban development areas such as Hausfeld, Berresgasse or Am Haidjöchl. “We have to build the city street so that we can implement urban planning in the north of Vienna,” explains planning councilor Ulli Sima (SPÖ). This is also provided for in the environmental impact assessment, but activists against the Stadtstraße have always denied this and pointed out a possible amendment procedure. Rising rents are feared Many housing developers are already in the starting blocks to realize new projects, according to the town hall. The Vienna residential fund in particular was severely affected. If, after the Lobau tunnel, the city street were to be tipped over, this would have fatal consequences for future urban development. No wonder that other members of the city government would also be concerned about possible delays or an end to the project. “Without the implementation of sustainable urban development projects in the Danube city, the pressure on the housing market all over Vienna increases,” explains Vice Mayor Kathrin Gaál (SPÖ). The result would be rising rents in the private sector across the city. In addition to housing, jobs are also at stake. Even after the end of the Lobau tunnel, the Vienna Chamber of Commerce feared that fewer companies would be relocated. Legal tug-of-war about project stop As reported, there were recently legal doubts that Leonore Gewessler could stop the Lobau tunnel at all. The argument was based on the Federal Roads Act, in which the project is still listed. The infrastructure minister countered with an expert opinion from the lawyer. Konrad Lachmayer from Sigmund Freud University (box on the right). It stipulates that the minister may very well decide on road construction projects.