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VIENNA PROVIDES SPACE

The program “Wien gibt Raum” (engl. “Vienna provides space”) focuses on the use of public space.

Urban public space is like a modern city’s calling card: locals spend a significant part of their daily lives in public areas, and for visitors, public space makes up a major share of the city’s special flair and ambiance. At the same time, public spaces are expected to meet a variety of different, often conflicting needs and interests. City administrations are faced with the task of providing an adequate legal and organisational framework for these needs and interests. In this context, it is important to keep public spaces usable and freely accessible while at the same time guaranteeing safe, speedy and smooth traffic flow. This is an important factor in keeping Vienna the most livable city in the world.

Against the backdrop of this challenge, the City of Vienna decided to launch a new public space management programme termed “Wien gibt Raum”. The programme aims to reorganise the distribution of tasks and responsibilities for official permits and the management of objects and activities in public space. Internal administration processes are restructured; at the same time, users are provided with a new customer interface in the form of a (digital or physical) one-stop shop, which is based on customised software solutions. Moreover, the entire legal framework for official permits regarding public space is evaluated and modernised where necessary. The basis for many steps taken for “Wien gibt Raum” is provided by comprehensive surveying of all objects and structures currently found in public areas.

The goals

Making applications & permissions easier and faster

“Wien gibt Raum” will make proceedings for the use of public space easier and faster. Soon you will be able to submit your application online in a digital “One-Stop-Shop”. There you will find all information on the use of public space online. A digital assistant will guide you through the process and answer your questions. You will have only one interface to the city administration and receive all permits and transparent information about fees from a single source.

Enable ideas and participation

Public space is valuable and belongs to us all. The City of Vienna enables citizens through “Wien gibt Raum” to make their ideas for public space come true. From street festivals, Grätzloasen (neighborhood oasis) or parklets to art performances – we make the necessary steps to use public space as room for your idea as easy as possible. Moreover, the city administration surveys public space and thus gets a better overview. So public space can be decluttered, creating space for new ideas and making your neighborhood more beautiful.

Using tax money efficiently and sustainably

By applying “Wien gibt Raum” the City of Vienna is using tax money responsibly. The image data created by the programme can replace some of the on-site inspections or expert opinions required for future administrative processes, thus saving both time and expenses. A modern software using this data facilitates effective networking between City Administration departments. The use of public space should be fair – citizens and enterprises that play by the rules must not be put at a disadvantage. Therefore we also detect who is using public space without contributing.

Innovation

“Wien gibt Raum” is an innovative digitization programme: So far Vienna has been the only European city to adopt this novel and comprehensive approach. Geodata, surveying data and image data of the status quo, as well as data on permits granted and applications submitted are integrated in a single database and connected with web based solutions. Citizens, as well as enterprises and administration employees profit from this approach. Moreover the City of Vienna creates a valuable set of data, that will be provided for scientists, start-ups or enterprises to further develop the Smart City Vienna.

The survey

The basis for many steps taken for Wien gibt Raum is provided by comprehensive surveying of all objects and structures currently found in public areas. Modern mobile mapping technology is used to document the city’s actual status quo at a given point in time. The system uses highly precise sensors: GPS positioning and angle sensors detect the direction and position of the vehicle up to 200 times per second. A precisely calibrated camera system takes pictures with geodetic accuracy. The data is acquired while driving at normal speed. Every three meters image data is recorded by all cameras simultaneously.

This task is implemented by Municipal Department 41 (MA 41 – Surveyors), which serves as an internal provider of geodata for the City of Vienna. The MA 41 mobile mapping campaign employs modern imaging technologies to produce a detailed image of the city, which is subsequently used to extract the three-dimensional features of public space in Vienna.

The City of Vienna values privacy as much as you. Therefore, numerous measures for the protection of personal data have been taken for “Wien gibt Raum”.

A privacy policy according to the strict Austrian Privacy Policy has been made under number DVR 0000191 – V640.

No video or sound recordings are made and no Wi-Fi data is recorded.

All persons and license plates are pixelated completely.

The vehicles are marked with the protected logo of the city of Vienna. The camera is mounted on the car roof, the sensors are about two meters above the roadway. So the sensors do not detect anything a big person could not see with his naked eye.

The image data are well secured in the vehicle and during post-processing. The raw data is stored as short as possible for processing in the systems of the surveying company. They must be demonstrably deleted by the contractor after acceptance.

The City of Vienna only receives anonymous data and is the owner of the image material. The data is stored on secure, own servers of the city.

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the program “Wien gibt Raum” as well as about the surveying campaign of the public space by the city of Vienna. Click on a question to see the answer.

Do the recordings violate my privacy?

No. Respect for individual privacy is just as crucial to the City of Vienna as it is to you. Therefore the images recorded are governed by the strict Austrian privacy regulations and registered with the official data protection authority. For example, all individuals pictured are completely anonymised, and car license plate numbers are pixelated. Moreover, the cameras do not record anything a tall person would not see with the naked eye.

Why is the City of Vienna taking photos of its urban area?

The images are needed for a software that enables the City of Vienna to make using public space simpler for everyone – both businesses and the local population. In future, you can simply send an online application if you are planning to hold an event in public space, e.g. a neighbourhood get-together, or if you want to make structural changes that impact public space, such as setting up an outdoor seating area for a cafe or restaurant. Based on the images, the responsible departments can find out about details like pavement width etc. without having to send staff to inspect the site.

Who exactly is behind the camera cars on the streets of Vienna?

The City of Vienna has commissioned a specialised surveying company that records highly detailed images of public space. The images as such remain the property of the City of Vienna. The cars recording the images are not related to any similar initiatives implemented by private companies.

Who gets to see the images?

While the images are recorded, they are only accessible to the staff of the surveying company tasked with collecting and anonymising the image data. After that, during the first project phase, the anonymised image data are disclosed exclusively to staff members of the municipal departments in charge of public space management. During the second phase, a decision is taken about whether the anonymised images will also be available to the public as open data.

Will the image data be made available to the public (“open data”)?

In the first project phase, the images are only collected for internal use by the Vienna City Administration. In the second phase, a decision is taken about whether and/or in what form the anonymised images will be publicly available as open data.

Does the project have anything to do with Google Street View?

No, the project Wien gibt Raum is in no way related to Google Street View or any other application by private companies.

Why doesn’t the City of Vienna just use Google Street View?

The City of Vienna needs high-resolution images, i.e. very detailed data that can be used for measuring objects and distances. What is more, Vienna’s entire public space must be recorded for the project, and new images are needed at regular intervals to make sure the data is always up to date. This is why the City of Vienna has organised its own vehicle-based surveying project.

Isn’t this extremely expensive?

Of course, vehicle-based surveying with camera cars causes certain costs. With its project Wien gibt Raum, however, the City of Vienna follows well-founded advice, notably a recommendation by the Court of Audit to record all road signs and floor markings in the city. The project also ensures that the image data can be used by many different departments of the Vienna City Administration, reducing the need for time-intensive and costly on-site inspections. Wien gibt Raum is also meant to ensure everyone who uses public space in Vienna contributes a fair share to the public good by paying the statutory fees.

Where can I get further information?

If you have any further questions about the project that are not answered on the website, please feel free to contact the City Information Centre by phone (01 525 50) or send an e-mail to stadtinformation@post.wien.gv.at.

The survey 2017/2018 is completed. We inform you in time, before the next survey campaign starts.

  • When
  • Where

Use cases

The local population and business community benefit from the programme by getting a single contact – a digital or physical one-stop shop – for all inquiries and applications regarding public space to a single. At the same time, the database provides a reliable, comprehensive overview of all objects and structures present in the city’s public space, making it easier for the City of Vienna to manage public space as a whole. This also provides the basis for “decluttering” urban public space, i.e. removing illegal structures and objects, thus making more room for all user groups in the city and guaranteeing fair use of public space for everyone.

“Vienna provides space” benefits citizens, because ideas and initiatives in public spaces are easier to implement. For example:

  • Parklets
  • Flea markets
  • Street festivals

“Vienna provides space” benefits companies as they receive permits for public spaces more quickly and easily. For example:

  • Street cafés
  • Markets
  • Events and festivals
  • Construction works on the street
  • Kiosks
  • Good displays
  • Advertising and illuminated signs

Press contact

Contact

Mag. Timon Jakli
+43 676 8118 81069
timon.jakli@wien.gv.at

This post is also available in: German