CIPRA representatives:

Personal tools

  Search filter  

Good Practice

Rebuild instead of build

May 31, 2022
The Austrian municipality of Zwischenwasser on the edge of the Rhine valley is rebuilding instead of building – and doing so at the highest architectural level.
Image caption:
(c) Caroline Begle

When the building boom began in Vorarlberg in the 1970s, the municipality of Zwischenwasser/A chose a different path and laid the foundations for long-term orderly development: it corrected the zoning plan. Propsective farmland and building land became freehold areas for agriculture. In this way Zwischenwasser/A prevented urban sprawl and the creation of large built-up areas while introducing an exceptional building culture in the village. With the help of civic engagement, the community realised many renovation and conversion projects. The old alpine dairy was turned into a multi-purpose building, the community centre was renovated in a resource-saving way, and the kindergarten was awarded the "Klimaaktiv Gold" certificate, the highest national award for energy-efficient buildings. Since 1992, Zwischenwasser/A has also had an advisory board consisting of two alternating architects who advise the building authorities. Public design tasks and spatial development models are advertised as competitions and discussed jointly. The municipality has no building ordinance and therefore assesses each building project individually at its respective location. In addition, Zwischenwasser/A has been an energy-efficient "e5 municipality" since 1998, relies on renewable energy and promotes public transport and electric mobility.

More information: (de), (de), (de), (de)

Fact sheet

What: Stop urban sprawl, promote architecture, joint design of public space, conversion of buildings

Who: Municipality of Zwischenwasser

Where: Zwischenwasser, Austria

When: since the 1980s

Transferability: Other municipalities can also implement the methods and strategies of Zwischenwasser/A. The participation processes are also transferable.


Image caption: