An urbanistic concept analysis for the above named plot in the district of Gösting was carried out analogous to the first selected plot on Fabriksgasse. In both cases, findings from the analysis were discussed by the entire research team and, as a consequence, a number of design rules were defined.
Rule: there is no further necessity for developing new car parks – no underground garage.
The area around the selected plot is enclosed by the Wienerstrasse and railway embankment. Above all, the raised railway embankment represents more than a mere visual barrier. Principally, building density in the quarter is lower and the proportion of green space is higher due to the predominance of detached houses. The overground proportion of car parking areas is extremely limited – and there are hardly any public car parks. Interspar shopping centre possesses a substantial number of underground and overground parking spaces that are chiefly occupied during working hours and whose spatial potential could be optimised by enhancing overall management. Car traffic plays a dominant role in the streetscape’s design. The as-built plans reveal that there are neither continuous public green areas for recreation and sports, nor playgrounds. There is a lack of designated footpath and cycle path networks, especially on the other side of the embankment. Thus, the urbanistic principle of short distances remains largely unfulfilled.
Rule: do not build too high.
The heterogeneous area under consideration contains detached houses, tower blocks from the 1960s and 1970s, more recent multi-storey housing blocks as well as commercial buildings and a shopping centre (Interspar) from the end of the 20th century. As regards height development and density, above all, the three tower blocks to the east and west of the plot dominate the area. Reconstruction should therefore seek to reconcile those differing parameters.
Rule: creation of a centre.
In a heterogeneous area such as this, it seems especially important to create a centre that will connect the existing fragmented dwelling quarters, integrate the quarter beyond the railway embankment and enhance the quality of the cyclist and pedestrian networks as well. This will result in improved accessibility to the car-focussed local supplier (Interspar).
The “Quality of life indicator model” (LQU-Modell, 2013), which is a comprehensive, urbanistic, demographic and social survey of the City of Graz consisting of objective information and subjective population opinion surveys, suggests that there is an urgent need for action in our planning area Gösting 13-1 as regards the cost of living, followed by the job situation, co-existence and healthcare services, as well as with respect to recreation and leisure time. The living situation in this particular district and the related question as to whether people are happy to live there scores 90.3% for the entire Gösting district, i.e. the bottom third in comparison to other districts. Some 40% of people living in the area in question would like to move away. What is needed from an urbanistic perspective is increased accessibility to the city centre, workplaces, recreation areas, sports facilities and green areas as well as a functional network within the quarter for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, especially to the area beyond the railway embankment. Thus, in terms of planning our concept, we need to pay specific attention to topics such as neighbourhood, integration, quality of public space, affordable dwellings and creation of possible work spaces. Despite the high proportion of commercial businesses along the Wienerstrasse, people criticised the lack of jobs in the area.
Rule: heterogeneity wanted.
Possible uses and new jobs that need to be created in our planning area have emerged from the LQI model’s survey as follows: doctors’ surgeries, a counselling and care centre, assistance for elderly people and organisation of homecare services and assisted living facilities, a care and retirement home and adult education facilities. Furthermore, space for associations and their activities, organisation of a farmers’ market (or a farm produce shop) and emergency services (ambulance, police, fire brigade) are required. Besides that, there is a notable lack of barrier-free dwellings and offers of and accessibility to local recreational and sports areas.