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Capital of Austria

Vienna is the capital of Austria and with 1.76 million habitants also the largest city of the country. Vienna was recently voted to be the European city with the highest quality of life. The city has a high share of parks and green zones. Viennese local trains, metro lines, trams and buses form a well-developed public transport system. The city was particularly good at reducing the footprint of non-road mobile machinery until national regulation harmonised Austrian standards. Vienna also is very active in promoting public transport, cycling and walking.

Overall Grade: B 84%

Pie Chart 84
  • Graph Reduction Success Local Emissions
  • Graph Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters
  • Graph Public Procurement Clean Cars
  • Graph Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources
  • Graph Use of Economic Incentives
  • Graph Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split
  • Graph Promotion of Public Transport
  • Graph Promotion of Walking & Cycling
  • Graph Transparency & Communication Policy


Reduction Success Local Emissions

In 2012 and 2013, Vienna achieved a reduction of urban concentrations below the limit values for PM10 (30 µg/m³ and 30 µg/m³) and missed compliance with NO2 annual limits by a very small fraction in both years (40,5 µg/m³ and 40 µg/m³).

In Vienna’s case, the share of local emissions in overall PM10 emissions is low with only 25%, compared to 75% background emissions that mostly come from outside Austria, with similar background shares also for NO2. Within the local emissions, the share of traffic is very high with 81% for PM10 and 82% for NO2.

Low Emission Zones & Bans of High Emitters

Since 2008, Vienna has banned lorries manufactured before 1992 from its city. In 2014, this ban was extended to lorries with Euro I exhaust emissions class. A further extension is scheduled for 2016 which will ban trucks with Euro II exhaust emissions class. The ban covers the whole city including motorways (414 km²) with some exceptions for Euro II (Euro III from 2016) commercial vehicles with loading purposes.

There was a debate on the introduction of an LEZ, but in the end the measure was rejected.

More information (ger.):

Public Procurement Clean Cars

In the city of Vienna there were 1152 vehicles in the municipal fleet in 2013 (not including buses). Newly purchased vehicles are always equipped with engines with the highest Euro standards. 69% of vehicles meet at least Euro IV norms. Regarding the municipal bus fleet comprising 464 vehicles all running on gas, 91% meet at least Euro V standards. A conversion of all buses to diesel Euro VI standard is planned for the period between 2014 and 2019. Also, an interesting point of activity is the purchase of 12 electric as well as 6 hybrid buses for routes in the inner city.

Non-Road Mobile Emission Sources

The city of Vienna originally had a local regulation in place that required particulate filter systems for all non-road machinery over 18KW. However the local regulation had to be cancelled by a national regulation, the so-called Offroad-Verordnung (ordinance), which was adopted in 2013. It implements a step-by-step increase in the standard of emission requirements for mobile machinery above 18kW between 2013 and 2019. Depending on the power of the machinery, specific Euro standards will be compulsory. Finally in 2019, Euro IIIa or higher will be compulsory for all machinery in order to access redevelopment areas (Sanierungsgebiete). New machinery purchases need to meet the diesel Euro IIIb standard as the minimum requirement. Vienna’s original regulation was substantially stricter, requiring particulate filter systems for machinery.

The city is also concentrating construction traffic on main roads with tunnels and side barriers. A general logistic plan for construction traffic has been put in place.

Use of Economic Incentives

The city uses parking management strategically in order to steer traffic demand and accomplish sustainable objectives, including reduced air pollution. Parking revenues are partially used for public transport. Vienna extended its parking management at the end of 2012 to several additional quarters. A comparative study on its effect showed that traffic volume was reduced by almost 7.5%.

Other subsidies include: Subsidies worth €1,000€ are granted to acquire or retrofit cars with gas-powered technology. For taxi vehicles, subsidies amount to €3,000. Additionally, electric commercial vehicles are subsidised with a maximum of €10,000 through the city government. National subsidies for companies or local authorities for retrofitting vehicles and purchasing electric bicycles or for installing bicycle parks are available until 2020.

Traffic & Mobility Management Incl. Modal Split

The modal split statistics for 2010 and 2012 reveal a 4% reduction for motorised individual transport to 27%, combined with a 1% increase in cycling and a 3% increase in public transport. Targets for 2020 aim at a share of motorised individual transport of 20% (5% less than predicted in 2003), an increased public transport usage of 40% as well as an increased cycling share of 12% (4% more than predicted in 2003).In its long-term urban development plan, re-purposing the urban space is part of the strategic targets, together with a higher integration of public transport, biking and walking as well as an attractive and comprehensive system of cycling lanes and walking paths.

The city’s street network comprises about 2,800 km (not including motorways), of which 59% are limited to a speed of 30 km/h. These 30 km/h zones were extended by 150 km starting in 2009, and had a total length of about 1600 km in 2013. Main roads are limited to 50 km/h and urban motorways to 80 km/h. One of the most interesting examples of activity in Vienna is the important shopping street Maria-Hilfer-Straße being converted into a pedestrian area in 2013.

Evaluation of the Vienna Masterplan Transport (2013) (ger.)…

Promotion of Public Transport

Vienna’s public transport system includes metro, tram and bus lines, which have been optimised and extended over the last few years. A metro line extension of 9 km was created to implement a connection to the newly built satellite city Seestadt. Another extension of 5km is planned for 2017. Additionally, bus and tram lines were extended to the newly built main station and higher frequencies of specific bus, tram and metro lines were implemented.

In 2012 the city implemented a new public transport ticket tariff of €365 per year, which is far below the European average of €660. As a consequence, the large increase of customers overcompensated for the decrease of revenue from individual tickets.

Promotion of Walking & Cycling

The city is promoting cycling among other measures by expanding cycling lanes and the overall infrastructure. In 2010, a cycling lane in the canalised riverbed of the Wien-Fluss was built to better connect suburban areas with the city centre. The development target for cycling is a quite ambitious increase from 6% (2012) to 12% in 2020. A city-wide bike sharing programme with 1,700 bicycles and about 120 stations (in 2014) has been built up since 2003, and has doubled its numbers of bikes and stations since 2010. The share of people walking (28%) is expected to stay the same.

Worth mentioning, a very interesting example of activities in Vienna is the important shopping street Maria-Hilfer-Straße being converted into a pedestrian area in 2013 .

Urban Development Plan 2025 (eng.):

Transparency & Communication Policy

There is an extensive website with a lot of information of relevance to citizens, application forms and direct department contacts. Air Quality Reports with hourly updates, current air quality numbers, daily reports, ozone-alarms, monthly and annual reports and additional info on ozone and PM10 are also available. Additionally, an interactive map with current information on air quality as well as designated cycling and walking routes, etc. is available:

Air Quality website (Ger.)

Response to Questionnaire

The City replied to the questionnaire.