The project focuses on the development of a positive vision for rural areas. How will we be living in the countryside in the future? Will rural communities structurally disperse even more, so that people´s everyday lives consist of long commuting with traffic jams and traffic noise? Or can we reshape our lives in such a way that climate protection and the energy revolution provide us with opportunities to improve everyday life?
In this project, the Energy and Environment Agency of Lower Austria (eNu) developed a holistic approach for all areas of life. These include: housing & building, mobility, self-sufficient villages, work and everyday life.
In a smart village, we live in energy-plus buildings. In the winter, such building is heated via south-facing windows while a solar system generates energy. In the summer, the heat is kept out by excellent thermal insulation, outside shading and green areas. Green areas on roofs and facades are natural air conditioning systems for buildings, streets and squares. Plant shading protects components from heating up too much. Evaporation from the plants cools down the environment.
Roads with green areas are great for cycling and walking. Bad air quality and exhaust gases are a thing of the past. Short distances for running errands can be covered conveniently with (e-)bikes or (e-) carrier bikes. Public transport is convenient, saves space and is energy-efficient. Long distances are covered by fully electrified railway systems and electric or hydrogen buses.
In the village of the future, residential areas are not occupied by cars. Streets of residential areas are designed as active living spaces that everyone can use for leisure. Parking spaces are hardly needed anymore, because the e-transport services bring people from A to B whenever they want. Trees provide shade; flowering meadows and perennial flower beds bring nature back to the people and absorb water during heavy rainfall.
100% renewable energy: sun, wind, water and biomass power will fully provide us with the energy of the future. Surpluses on days with lots of wind and sun are used for mobility, heat and storage.
In order to achieve the targets outlined in its climate and energy roadmap, the State of Lower Austria decided that photovoltaic plants shall be installed on all suitable public buildings. In this context, citizens have the opportunity to buy photovoltaic panels to be installed on public buildings and the state of Lower Austria is renting these panels from its citizens afterwards. In return, people get a benefit of 1.75 % for 10 years. Within 13 minutes, the first 2500 PV panels were sold, about 2.000 citizens are on a waiting list. The aim is to install more than 50.000 PV panels on 150 public buildings with a total investment value of €46 million.