Transdisciplinarity and a water mega-project in Vienna, Austria


"A mega-project involving multi-sectoral water management in Vienna, Austria illuminates the potential benefits of transdisciplinary engagement in this context. Initially planned as a flood-control effort for the Danube River in Vienna, a series of government, expert and public consultations resulted in a much more ambitious project.

An interdisciplinary team of water resource engineers, architects, transportation and landscape planners, ecologists and limnologists, experts on waste water and pollution settled on a solution involving the creation of a second, parallel river to act as a flood channel, separated from the main channel by a 21 km long artificial island. Through the project, Vienna, a landlocked city, came to enjoy a beachfront of 42 km, which now attracts ~300,000 people/day on summer weekends for recreational and sporting activities, some water-based.

The project faced significant opposition from its inception, partly political and partly arising from environmental concerns. This was met with a professionally-administered programme of public information, media work and stakeholder fora with progressive adaptation of details, culminating in a positive referendum for the project."
Quoted from:

Part of Solution

  • Systems approaches for urban water management & health

  • Photos

    • Danube river hydrofoil  a