Stop in Langenegg – for a living village (Stopp in Langenegg – für ein lebendiges Dorf)
Creation of an attractive village centre with the involvement of the local residents. “During the day we see so many cars drive past. If only a fraction of them were to stop and make use of our shops!” – quotation from a local businessman. Construction of two buildings on strictly ecological principles, sportsground and playground in the village centre, and creation of an energy path in co-operation with architecture students from Innsbruck University and the Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences.
Langenegg local authority, territory 10.47 km², 700 m above sea-level. Located about 30 km from the nearest centres of economic activity. 1080 inhabitants and growing. Thanks to the good transport infrastructure, about 280 residents commute daily to the nearby Rhine Valley area. Langenegg is a dormitory community with good clubs and associations. 240 local jobs.
Politicians, local authority employees, local people, associations, representatives of the business community, Energieinstitut Vorarlberg, Vorarlberger Umweltverband (environmental organisation), Innsbruck University, Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences, Vorarlberger Architekturinstitut.
Strengthening people’s identification with their village, building a feeling of belonging and togetherness through involvement and information on the relevance of the activities, development of a strategy to counter migration from the village and the resulting loss of purchasing power, new and attractive buildings for the kindergarten and clubs, support for service-providers wishing to move to the village, value added for local businesses and companies, income-generating opportunities for local forest owners, creation of a daytime café for locals and visitors to bring life to the village centre and act as a meeting point for all social groups, designing a village centre that makes people want to stop, job creation, additions to the infrastructure (only if as many basic needs as possible can be satisfied in the village itself can the risk of a loss of purchasing power be reduced), countering reductions in the infrastructure, increasing the number of inhabitants by fostering the image of a community with a good quality of life, propagating ecological construction and providing information on the costs.
Preliminary project called Liveable Living (lebenswert leben) as an awareness-building process for subsequent measures. Analysis of the point of departure revealed an economic situation characterised by a rapidly declining number of businesses and cuts in the infrastructure as reflected in the absence of a real village centre. A student project was launched in co-operation with Innsbruck University, the Liechtenstein University of Applied Sciences and the Vorarlberg Architecture Institute. The aim was to establish a basis for concrete planning measures and their implementation in the form of new buildings. An architectural design competition produced a winning project by Josef Fink and Markus Thurnher. Ecological construction – construction of the first two buildings in accordance with the eco-construction guidelines issued by the Vorarlberg Environmental Union. General village design improvements with the aim of attracting young people to the village centre and encouraging visitors to stay. Café management model on the basis of an association, involvement of the local people. The final “stop” also means measures to reduce the speed of the traffic.
Creation of an attractive village centre. Children and youngsters now find things to do in the village (sportsground and playground, youth club). Increased local availability of goods. Greater sense of identification with the community. Modernised infrastructure (kindergarten), improved conditions for clubs and associations (music, choir), facilities for small-scale activities, new jobs (offices, café). The redesign of the road through the village will slow down traffic and thus enhance road safety (Langenegg is on a route that is popular with bikers). The new café is also an additional attraction for residents (no daytime café in the past).