The project takes up the discussion about production, conservation, transformation and decay in urban landscapes. The substance for the city of the future is found in those places where human interventions overlap with the momentum of non-human metabolic processes. The project questions the use of urban wastelands in the post-industrial city and appeals for these spaces – these vast, continuous areas that were previously exploited by the consumer economy – to be safeguarded for the city and, for the time being, left to their own devices.
The ‘urban wasteland’ is designated as the urban element of the future. For these wild, in-between spaces contain not only huge reserves of energy for ecological reproduction, but also social potential as the final free spaces in an ever denser and ever more rapidly regulated city.
It is precisely this absence of a clearly defined function that makes this urban wasteland so productive, open to appropriation and free for unforeseeable and unplannable uses. Hence, a strategy of non-planning, non-programming and non-organising should prevail in such places. Because it is this that makes space for the suppressed and often forgotten participants in the urban ecosystem: animals, bacteria and plants. If these abandoned areas are simply left to their own momentum, a new, active urban landscape will emerge. This could complete Vienna’s green belt and then widen it further by adding new, dynamic and diverse green spaces.
Eva Herunter (*1991) studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and EPFL Lausanne. She has professional experience in Graz, Vienna, Berlin and Hong Kong and currently lives and works in Vienna.