This project was researched in 2005 by a team of experts commissioned by CIPRA as part of the Future in the Alps Project. The contents are not being updated.
New forms of decision-making
Regional value added, Governance capacity, Mobility, Policies and instruments
The Siebensternplatz is a popular, new designed square in the 7th district of Vienna. The remodelling a few years ago led to a very attractive, but heavily used square. There are several pubs and restaurants with outdoor seating and many open-air events. A string of popular evening spots began to flourish. Conflicts between residents, users and shopkeepers concerning noise problems resulted in this new situation. The Municipality of Vienna started a Mediation Process to work out an agreement to reduce noise. Noise makers and noise victims were first brought together for discussion in a mediation process.
Municipality of Vienna, Municipial Department 22 (Environmental Protection)
Five representatives of the local residents, the owners of the offending pubs and restaurants, representatives of Vienna's Community Services Department, The District Council, the police and the local housing services office, as well as the competent city administration departments participated in the discussions, within the so-called SYLVIE-team acting as mediators.
The project aims to achieve a consensual agreement on the future usage of the Siebensternplatz and to reduce noise on Siebensternplatz.
There are three major steps: (1) preparation (design of procedure, information and preliminary talks with participants, nomination of representatives), (2) negotiation (expectations, show noise conflicts, statements of interests, development of answers and solutions, commitment of realisation), (3) realisation of measures
In a series of 6 meetings the participants analysed the problems, tried to find solutions and decided on a number of measures to be taken.
The owner of one pub retrofitted his sound system so that the sound level is automatically turned down whenever the sliding doors giving access to the outdoor seating area are operated. Plasticied metal ropes replaced the rattling chains which had previously been used to secure outdoor tables and chairs after closing time; this also eliminated the need for noisy stacking of tables and chairs late in the evening. At the same time an educational campaign was launched, with appeals for considerate behaviour appearing on posters, stickers, menue cards and in other conspicious places. Several containers for waste glass and other solid waste, which had been identified as sources of particularly disturbing noise, where fitted with rubber wheels. With respect to official permits for events, the authorities adopted a policy of shifting the time for clearance and cleaning work required after an event to the following morning. As local residents can tolerate event-related noise better if they know about such events beforehand, a SYLVIE showcase was set up to keep them informed about the upcoming events for each month. In addition, information about the history of the square and the mediation process is also on display in the showcase. All agreements were realised immediately or within the first months after finishing the project.
The project has not been evaluated yet.
There is no information about difficulties in the mediation procedure.
15.000 EUR incl. Moderation and material costs (Euro)
Vienna Municipial Department 22 (Environmental Protection), The project Siebensternplatz was realised as one of nine pilot projects withing the framework of the SYLVIE-project with 50% EU subsidies (LIFE programme).