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					                         INNSBRUCK: FROM CITY TO CYTA?

    Outskirt development as an indicator of spatial,
                 economic and social development

                                                                                                Axel Borsdorf

 Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Academy of Sciences, Vienna, and Department of Geography, University
                                                                     of Innsbruck, Austria; axel.borsdorf@uibk.ac.at


Abstract

Innsbruck, the capital of the Austrian Federal State of Tyrol, may be regarded as a model of the
development of suburbia and even post-suburbia. The paper describes the forces, forms and struc-
tures leading to quite different manifestations of urban sprawl in this case study. The expansion
started with apartment blocks for commuters in the outskirts of Innsbruck, then for decades the
process carried on within Innsbruck, until in the late 20th century the conditions were in place to
extend the urban development once more beyond the municipal boundaries.
Different ideologies and political conditions have made the suburbanisation process in Innsbruck
an exiting experience of spatial change. Therefore socialist tendencies left their marks on the built
environment as well as Austro-fascism or the national-socialist penetration or the ensuing immigra-
tion of refugees from the East.



Keywords

Innsbruck, Tyrol, suburbanisation, suburbanisation periods, urban sprawl.

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Axel Borsdorf



1    Introduction: From city to cyta?

     A road sign "Cyta", which looks like an official   What has happened to transform the dozy
     place-name sign, marks the slip road to the        agricultural village of Völs into a functional
     Cyta mall, located in Völs near Innsbruck. The     unit which ventures to compare itself with the
     signal is clear: the visitor enters the sphere     busiest part of a town? The Innsbruck agglo-
     of "Cyta", a centre of entertainment, supply       meration seems to offer a good example for
     and consumption. Even the denomination is          tracing the one and a half century long history
     quite symbolic: Cyta is the Greek expression       of suburbanisation and outskirt transforma-
     for city, and although the majority of visitors    tion. And although some of the striking points
     who don’t speak Greek will understand the          in this genesis may be regarded as too local
     meaning: City, cittá, cité, ciudad – this shop-    or maybe too Austrian or Central European,
     ping mall is a copy of the most central dis-       in general this history has not been too diffe-
     tricts of the nearby capital of Tyrol, a dense,    rent from that of other European agglomera-
     complex, multifunctional unit, full of urban       tions. This paper will focus on the different
     life, communication, entertainment, in the         phases of suburbanisation in order to analyse
     best spirit of urbanity. But Cyta is far away      the changing influences on this process and
     from the Innsbruck city; it belongs to the         the forces that transformed structures and
     municipality of Völs, a village on the outskirts   images of European agglomerations and may
     of Innsbruck, in which nobody would have           have entered a new phase just now, new for
     expected overboarding urban life.                  the structure, and new in their impact.




     Photo 1: Cyta at Völs

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                                                                                          Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?




Source: Tirol Atlas, Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck
Fig 1: Topographic map of the Innsbruck urban region




2        The heart of the Alps: Locational conditions for urban growth

         Innsbruck, the capital of Tyrol with 113.000                   the Brenner Pass south of the town. This oro-
         inhabitants (2001), is located at 11°23’ east,                 graphic "T" shapes the settled area of the Inns-
         47°16’ north on an altitude of 575 m upon ter-                 bruck agglomeration: The most important axis
         races of the Inn valley, separating the Karwen-                is the Inn valley, lining up the settlement cores
         del Alps, which are made of limestone rocks,                   as on a pearl necklace, minor growth takes
         from the crystalline Central Alps. Part of the                 place on both sides of the Sill. The river Inn
         city lies at the alluvial fan of a tributary, the Sill         follows a major tectonic seam; medium earth-
         River (so-called Wipptal), flowing down from                   quakes could occur at any time.

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Axel Borsdorf



     In the Innsbruck area, the striking factor       jurisdictional district. As the major central
     to the eye is the hypsometric variation of       town in the Austrian West, Innsbruck hosts
     landscape forms. The capital of the Tyrol        a university with more than 25.000 students
     enjoys a quite moderate climate, with 933        and other institutes of higher education, the
     mms of annual precipitation, and an average      provincial hospital, an opera house/theatre,
     temperature of 8,6 °C, modified by strong        and the headquarters of regional banks and
     warm "Föhn" winds, mostly in spring and          service enterprises. But it is not an industrial
     autumn. The nearby mountains reach up to         town; secondary activities are concentrated
     3000 meters and show the typical sequence        in the city of Hall and in the nearby towns
     of alpine vegetation from the mountainous        of Wattens, Zirl and Telfs, all located within
     level with its deciduous trees, to the subal-    the urban region. This region accommodates
     pine level (coniferous forests), the alpine      350.000 inhabitants, of which 110.000 live in
     (meadows) and the rocky region, allowing         the core city itself.
     only low-level vegetation. It is a paradox
     that the south-facing rocky limestone moun-      The urban region of Innsbruck, defined by
     tains feature only one small settled terrace     the Austrian Statistical Office, includes the
     (Hungerburg), whereas the north-facing ter-      Inn valley from Telfs to Schwarz, the Seefeld
     races are wider and accommodate a large          basin and the Wipptal (Sill valley) south of
     number of outskirts villages. On the other       Innsbruck to the Brenner. It contains about
     hand, the elevation, the northward expo-         300.000 inhabitants and covers an area of
     sition and the relative smoothness of the        2362 km2. But more than 71,7 % of that area
     slopes of the Central Alps offer ideal condi-    are not suitable for urban development. The
     tions for winter sports and long winter tou-     "permanent settlement area" of Innsbruck
     rist seasons.                                    only contains 668 km2, that means that the
                                                      populations density with 436,5 persons/km2
     The location at the northern base of the         is remarkable high.
     lowest pass over the Central Alps, the
     Brenner Pass, makes Innsbruck a meeting          As the map of urban growth in the Inns-
     point of important traffic streams. Highways,    bruck urban region (figure 2) clearly shows,
     major roads and railroads from the West          Innsbruck itself is no longer a growing city
     (Lake Constance), the East (Salzburg and         in demographic terms, although the habitat
     Vienna) and the North (Munich) bundle            space per capita is still growing. The main
     the traffic to and from the South (Bologna,      population dynamics can be found in the
     Milan) within the agglomeration. Since           medium-sized centres of the Inn valley, and
     medieval times this location has encouraged      moderate growth takes place in the Sill valley
     trade and economy in the city. And on the        and on the high terraces south of Innsbruck.
     administrative and political level, too, Inns-   The map also shows the orographic cons-
     bruck enjoys a quite central position within     traints of urban sprawl in an alpine environ-
     the province of Tyrol, in the diocese and the    ment: The steep slopes of the mountains as

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                                                                      Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?




Fig 2: Demographic and settlement growth in the Innsbruck region


well as the drop from the high terraces are not       where Christaller’s pre-conditions (homoge-
suitable for urbanisation. So the broad valley        neity of space) lead to circular catchment
of the Inn and the narrow and steep valley of         areas. The large distances require adapted
the Sill have to absorb the settlement expan-         systems. This is why emergency transports to
sion under conditions of severely restricted          the provincial hospital are mostly carried out
space reserves. As these fingered structures          by helicopter.
are repeated throughout the province of Tyrol         The topographic conditions of the Innsbruck
– the percentage of uninhabitable space is            area (see figure 3) have a great influence on
87 %! – the necessary radius to optimise              urbanisation and urban sprawl for the whole
the capacity of the central institutions must         region. They may be seen as the predominant
be much higher than in flat spatial systems,          constraint to spatial development.

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Axel Borsdorf




     Fig 3: Bird’s eye view of Innsbruck, from the South




3    The early suburbs: A result of population growth
     and transport innovation

     Not very far from Cyta, two churches mark             new church is a striking symbol of demogra-
     the traditional centre of the village of Völs.        phic growth and structural change, based on
     The baroque church is a good example of a             suburbanisation (photo 3).
     small village church, a medieval first building,      In Völs this process started with the cons-
     modernised in the 18th century. It was large          truction of the railway Innsbruck-Landeck
     enough to host the local Christians for cen-          (with its later extension to Feldkirch and
     turies. But in the late 20th century its capa-        Bregenz and its connections to Germany and
     city was no longer sufficient. A larger church,       Switzerland), which was opened in 1883. At
     characterised by a very modern architectu-            this time the railroad construction workers,
     ral concept, was inaugurated in 1967. The             most of them from the Southern Tyrol, faced

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                                                                         Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



      the decision of returning to their homeland
      or staying in the Northern Tyrol, where –
      encouraged by the railroad – a remarkable
      economic growth was taking place. Many
      workers decided to stay and looked for work
      and homes in the Innsbruck region. Faced
      with the choice between higher rents in Inns-
      bruck and lower ones in Völs many favou-
      red the outskirt village, now connected to
      the regional capital by a ten-minute ride on
      the railway. Local investors constructed six
      tenement houses (photo 2), which, because
      of their architecture, expanding the archi-
      tectural style of the local two-story farmhou-
      ses in terms of height, became indicators of
      the early change of a farming village into a
      commuter town.
      At the end of the 19th century, Innsbruck
      itself was strangulated by its narrow munici-
      pal space. From the foundation of Anprug-
      gen on the northern riverside in 1133 and the    Photo 2: Völs railroad station and tenement house
      purchase of 7 hectares on the opposite side      (constructed about 1880)
      in 1180, the spatial development of Innsbruck
                                                       had always been restricted, as the friars of
                                                       the Wilten monastery, which owned the fields
                                                       on the alluvial fan of the Sill, were not willing
                                                       to allow the city to occupy valuable farm land
                                                       belonging to their order. So it was not until
                                                       1904 that the former monastery villages of
                                                       Wilten and Pradl could be legally incorporated
                                                       into Innsbruck, tripling the urban area. This
                                                       was the beginning of the suburban expansion
                                                       of Innsbruck, overwhelming almost comple-
                                                       tely the traditional rural physiognomy and
                                                       structure of Wilten and Pradl.
                                                       Two types of suburban quarters developed:
                                                       tenement houses with up to six stories in the
Photo 3: Old and new church at Völs                    typical eclectic architectural forms of the so-

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Axel Borsdorf




Photo 4: Tenement houses (about 1900) at Wilten,        Fig 4: Groundplan of a Fin-de-Siècle tenement
Innsbruckt                                              house (1905): Two apartments per floor


      called "Gründerzeit" (Fin-de-Siècle). From        The first phase of suburbanisation in the Inns-
      the outside, these buildings had a prospe-        bruck area was a purely residential subur-
      rous look, but the internal structure indica-     banisation. Three types of spatial structures
      tes the intended use for the lower and lower      are formed during this epoch: The lower-class
      middle classes (photo 4). A large kitchen,        tenement house quarters, the upper-class
      multifunctional in the sense of the central       villa areas and the transition from former
      meeting and living room of the family and         rural villages to commuters towns.
      two rooms, in total about 53 m2, was meant
      to house a family of sometimes up to eight
      or even ten persons (figure 4). Apartment
      houses for the higher strata had larger flats,
      whereas the urban structure of those quar-
      ters was similar to the apartment blocks of
      the lower classes.
      The second type of suburb in the Fin-de-Siè-
      cle was characterised by villas enclosed by
      private gardens for the very rich (photo 5).
      Because of the ongoing competition between
      Innsbruck, Wilten and Pradl, there is no larger
      "west-end" in the city, but villa-type structu-
      res exist in Wilten, in Pradl and in the Saggen
      area of Innsbruck.                                Photo 5: Villas at Wilten, Innsbruck (about 1900)

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                                                                           Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



4     The suburbanisation between the World Wars:
      Socialist and fascist experiments

      On the 21st of September 1923, the socialist
      municipal government of Vienna decided to
      construct 25.000 apartments over the next five
      years and in 1927 it decided to proceed with
      this housing programme, constructing 5000
      apartments yearly. Between 1924 and 1934,
      348 housing blocks with 3505 staircases and
      5205 houses, containing 61.175 apartments
      and 2155 shops were constructed in Vienna.
      The conservative municipal government of
      Innsbruck did not deliver a similar programme,
      but as the demand for low-price rented flats
      for workers was rising in Innsbruck too, some
      blocks were constructed by housing co-opera-
      tives, similar in form and structure to those of   Photo 6: Pembaur Block at Innsbruck, about 1925
                                                         Copy of architectonical elements of the city centre
      the municipal housing quarters in Vienna.
      The Pembaur block, located in the Pembaur
                                                         finished in 1927 and contains 108 apartments,
      street in Pradl is a modest example of these
                                                         each made up of three rooms and totalling
      housing experiments (photos 6, 7). It was
                                                         60 m2. Neither the dedication of the rooms
                                                         nor the total size of the apartment differed
                                                         to that of the Fin-de-Siècle buildings, but
                                                         the infrastructure of the complete block was
                                                         strongly influenced by socialist ideas. The
                                                         block was equipped with a mother’s care and
                                                         consultant centre, a kindergarten, and its cen-
                                                         tral low-lying court was meant to be filled
                                                         with water in summer – a huge swimming
                                                         pool – to freeze over in winter – for ice-ska-
                                                         ting fun for the inhabitants and their children.
                                                         When during World War II, 60.000 Innsbruc-
                                                         kers fled to the air-raid tunnels beneath the
                                                         rocky valley slopes, the inhabitants of the
                                                         Pembaur block had their own air-raid shelters
Photo 7: Court view. Former swimming pool.               in the basement of the building.

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Axel Borsdorf



                                                         33 identical houses (photos 8, 9) were to be
                                                         constructed to embody the difference between
                                                         Christian and socialist housing and living cul-
                                                         ture. Against the communalism of the Karl-
                                                         Marx-Hof in Vienna or, in a smaller version, the
                                                         Pembaur block in Innsbruck stood the family-
                                                         orientated single houses with large garden, air




Fig 5: Groundplan of a 2-storey house in Sieglanger


      It is interesting to notice that the architects
      of the Pembaur block tried to integrate
      some architectural elements of the traditio-
      nal architecture of the city centre to the buil-
      ding, copying the renaissance bays to the
      outer front of the block. This was the first
      attempt to continue with the architectural         Photo 8: Settler’s house from 1934
                                                         in the Dr. Dollfuß Settlement
      heritage of the alpine town of Innsbruck,
      attempts that can be found up to the late 20th
      century.

      In 1932, the christian-social politician Engel-
      bert Dollfuß was elected chancellor of Austria
      and in 1933 the parliament was suspended.
      The following five years are called the cle-
      rical-fascism or Austro-fascism era because
      of its right-wing socialist ideas. Manifesta-
      tions of these ideas are some settlements in
      the Innsbruck agglomeration (Lohbachsie-
      dlung, Siegl-anger). The former "Dr.-Dollfuß-
      Siedlung" (nowadays "Sieglanger") is a good
      example for suburbanisation tendencies and
      strategies under clerical order.                   Photo 9: Dr. Dollfuß Settlement, 1934

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                                                                          Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



      and sun. The 900-m2 gardens were intended         The houses were built with the active parti-
      to help the inhabitants to feed themselves, for   cipation of all the inhabitants, most of them
      the same purpose a stable and a barn were         unemployed at the time. Neighbourhood help
      part of each house. In 1946, 4 pigs, 13 goats,    is still an active tradition in the settlement.
      2 sheep, 50 rabbits, 7 geese, 130 chickens and    The colony was expanded for South Tyro-
      4 bee colonies were listed. The annual fruit      lean optants in the 1940s, but the original
      harvest exceeded 26.000 litres.                   concept remained unchanged. The German
                                                        garden city concept, formulated by Theodor
                                                        Fritsch in 1903, was the ideological basis for
                                                        these settlements. In contrast to Ebenezer
                                                        Howard’s concept, economical autonomy was
                                                        not intended in spite of some subsistence far-
                                                        ming activities the quarters remained suburbs
                                                        in character.

                                                        The political connection with Germany in
                                                        1938 did not change the housing policy in
                                                        Austria. But after 1939, when the German
                                                        and Ladinic speaking South Tyroleans were
                                                        forced to integrate into the Italian culture or
                                                        leave Italy (so-called "option"), four out of five
                                                        South Tyroleans opted for a resettlement in
Photo 10: South Tyrolean’s settlement, 1944             Germany (including Austria). 30 % (75.000
                                                        people) of the optants had to leave Italy
                                                        during the war. North Tyrol had to absorb
                                                        22.000 people, for a large part of them houses
                                                        and apartments had to be constructed even
                                                        in Innsbruck.

                                                        Among the different quarters dedicated to
                                                        the optants, the Eichhof at Pradl (Gumpp-
                                                        strasse) is quite representative for the ideo-
                                                        logy (photos 10, 11), the forms and structure
                                                        of these suburban quarters, being declared
                                                        "essential for the war" by the ruling powers.
                                                        It consists of 5000 apartments of 62 m2 (3
                                                        rooms), 74 m2 (4 rooms) and 88 m2 (5 rooms)
                                                        respectively. The plans were made by the
Photo 11: Court view                                    well-known Wolfsburg architect Peter Koller.

                                                                                                             85
Axel Borsdorf



     He sought an alternative to the grid structures    were originally meant to be used as indivi-
     of the Fin-de-Siècle and to the density of the     dual gardens, but the "Neue Heimat", being
     historical city centre, but tried to incorpo-      in charge of the organisation, turned them
     rate the positive elements of both. Alternating    into public green areas. In contrast to the
     open squares with gate situations, arbours         public space in the Pembaur block, dedicated
     and pergolas underline the commercial func-
                                                        for active use (pool and ice rink) this public
     tion of the streets.
                                                        green was for passive use only ("Betreten ver-
     The green areas in-between the buildings           boten" = keep off the grass!).




5    Urban reconstruction after World War II

     After the wide-spread bombing damage during        The "Peace Settlement" (Friedenssiedlung)
     the war and the influx of refugees from the        in Völs (photo 12) was created in the 1950s
     East after the war, Innsbruck – like most          for German speaking refugees from Hun-
     German and Austrian cities – was faced with        gary and Romania (so-called Danube-Swa-
     the problem of reconstructing and even newly       bians and Transsylvanian Saxons). In 1954,
     developing living space for those who lost their   63 houses were constructed, in 1957 some
     homes and apartments and the destitute from
     the former German speaking regions in the
     East. Housing programmes were developed
     in response to the huge and urgent demand.
     But for many years access to apartments was
     restricted. This phase of urban and suburban
     development is called the phase of "Wohnbe-
     darfsdeckung" (meeting the housing demand),
     in contrast to a later era of "Wohnbedarfswe-
     ckung" (creating housing demand).
     In the Innsbruck case – just like in most other
     Austrian or German agglomerations – diffe-
     rent strategies and consequently quite dif-
     ferent residential quarters met the housing
     demand.                                            Photo12: Refugees settlement at Völs, 1953

86
                                                                         Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



      44 more. In 1958, the new settlement got its      family apartment houses (up to 6 storeys)
      own church, owned by the Lutheran Church,         don’t have individual gardens; the only green
      but open for Catholic messes as well, as the      is public green.
      settlers were partly Protestant ("Saxons") and
                                                        It is interesting to compare these buildings
      partly Catholic ("Swabians"). They got small
                                                        with those on the opposite side of the street,
      single-family houses, most of them detached,
                                                        developed in the 1970s (the phase of crea-
      or terraced houses, with only basic infrastruc-
                                                        ting housing demand). They are orientated to
      ture. The private gardens were used originally
                                                        the sun and therefore stand diagonally to the
      for family subsistence.
                                                        street. The high buildings (up to 14 storeys)
      The development of the Reichenau was pos-         were constructed in pre-fabricated concrete
      sible after the translocation of the Innsbruck    elements and equipped with a central infras-
      airport to Kranebitten in 1952. The first resi-   tructure (central heating, elevators, common
      dential blocks were finalised in 1958 and still   TV aerial). Beneath the public green and
      represent the forms and structures of the         playgrounds there is an underground car park
      phase of meeting housing demand. These            (photo 14).
      buildings stand in a right angle to the street
      and parallel to each other. Originally they had
      neither central heating systems nor garages.
      The architects did not take into account that
      even inhabitants of social housing quarters
      would one day be able to afford cars, so later
      garages had to be added in a quite prelimi-
      nary way (photo 13)! The multi-storey and




                                                        Photo 14: Apartment houses at Reichenau,
Photo13: Flat houses at Reichenau, Innsbruck, 1950s     1970s, with staircase to car garages

                                                                                                         87
Axel Borsdorf



     Whereas the elder Reichenau dwellings are
     for renting, the newer ones are owner-occu-
     pied and represent a new form of housing pro-
     perty: storey or part ownership. With these
     new forms of real estate property, the bulk of
     the middle classes could participate in attai-
     ning a modest degree of prosperity. To con-
     vince these people to invest in real estate,
     ideas of the Bauhaus architects were adop-
     ted (light and sun orientation) and needs
     for more space artificially created by modern
     press media and advertisements. Therefore
     the green was integrated into the concept and
     is available for the communication among the            Photo 15: Olympic village, Innsbruck, 1964
     inhabitants. The riverside with its shallows,
     banks and meadows was also integrated into
     the leisure concept of the quarter.                     Whereas all these developments are not at
                                                             all specific to Innsbruck, but took place in
     During the 1970s, the suburbanisation reached           more or less similar form in other Central
     the neighbouring villages again, not only those         European towns, there is also a specific
     connected by railroad with the core city (like          Tyrolean development path: The influence
     Völs) but even those with only road connec-             of huge sporting events (two Olympic winter
     tions to Innsbruck. The increasing ownership            games) and of tourism. In 1964 and again in
     of private cars, the growing prosperity which           1976, Innsbruck hosted the Olympic winter
     brought the fulfilment of the desire for a house        games. On the meadows of the river Inn,
     or apartment of one’s own at a reasonable               east of the city proper, the first "Olympic Vil-
     price within the reach of more people and the           lage" was constructed between 1961-1962
     beginning of centrifugal tendencies of indus-           for the games of 1964. 683 apartments
     trial, commercial and service activities made           in eight 39-meter high blocks were provi-
     the neighbouring villages attractive for resi-          ded for the participants, which after the
     dential purposes.                                       games were put up for sale or rent. For the
                                                             next games in 1976, 644 apartments were
     Once more different types of residential quar-          added. The architectural style had changed
     ters developed: The densely built-up areas              between the two games: The eight high-rise
     with multi-storey apartment houses, someti-             blocks (11 storeys) planned in 1961 still
     mes in close quarters with terraced or deta-            reflected the ideas of the 1960s strongly
     ched houses, and the bungalow quarters. But in          influenced by concepts of Le Corbusier. Like
     the early 1970s all these new extensions of the         his "tropical building", the completely iden-
     traditional villages still fulfilled the characteris-   tical houses were put on stilts, making the
     tics of suburbs, dependent on the core city.            entrances so windy, that the stilts later had

88
                                                                        Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



      to be closed in by walls. The striking formal    The second specific of the Innsbruck region is
      elements are the long balconies on the Wes-      the importance of tourism and the consequent
      tern side of the houses, accentuating the        modification of the traditional villages by the
      horizontal dimension. Just as strict is the      tourist industry, which nowadays make up the
      strong parallel pattern structuring the whole    tourist region "Innsbruck and its holiday vil-
      quarter (photo 15).                              lages". These small settlements, located on
                                                       the high Pleistocene terrace of the Inn valley
      The later buildings of the second Olympic Vil-   (200 m above the valley base), developed
      lage stand diagonally to the streets: These      as tourist centres in post-war Austria. They
      buildings differ in form, size and growth,       are fully equipped with supply and leisure
      and the infrastructure was incorporated into     infrastructure. To serve the tourists arriving
      the concept from the starting of the plan-       in summer and winter, the commercial, sports
      ning phase. All apartments in these buildings    and leisure infrastructure surpasses the needs
      found buyers.                                    of the local population (photos 16, 17). This
      The Olympic villages belong to the last great    fact is one of the reasons why more and more
      habitat projects in the Innsbruck municipal      Innsbruckers decided to move to these loca-
      area.                                            tions and to build their houses there.




Photo 16: Postsuburbia at Axams?                       Photo 17: Leisure centre at Axams




                                                                                                         89
Axel Borsdorf



6    From Innsbruck suburbia to Innsbruck region post-suburbia?

     With the development of the Olympic villa-             mercial development. In ten years more than
     ges the last large spatial reserves of the city of     75.000 m2 of retail space were constructed.
     Innsbruck were used up. Since then only rede-          Today the retail space of Neu-Rum with about
     velopments and smaller projects could be rea-          80.000 m2 is larger than the space available
     lised. Since the 1980s the focus of urbanisation       in the greater inner city (city centre and sur-
     has shifted to the outskirts. This urban develo-       rounding quarters) (1998: 66.200 m2, today ca.
     pment however gradually acquired a different           70.000 m2). Some industrial and service acti-
     quality from the former phases of suburbani-           vities complement the commercial structure
     sation. In the 1980s, the village of Rum to the        of Neu-Rum. Three stores in this commercial
     east of Innsbruck opened large areas for com-          area exceed the 10.000 m2 mark.




     Fig 6: Commuter streams in the urban region of Innsbruck

90
                                                                     Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



In the early 1990s on the western side of Inns-     is still smaller than the third largest shopping
bruck, in the neighbouring village of Völs, large   area, DEZ, the first Austrian shopping centre
investments were made to expand the existing        with about 30.000 m2 retail space, located near
industrial area with a shopping area. Since a       the Eastern boundary of the administrative
mall was not legally permitted, Cyta started        area of Innsbruck.
as an agglomeration of shops under one roof,
                                                    With its industrial park and the shopping mall,
but some years after the opening, the last res-
                                                    Cyta Völs is no longer a suburb of Innsbruck
trictions fell under pressure of the existing
                                                    but a strong centre in itself. It developed its
interests and the Cyta got all characteristics
                                                    own reach of commuters, and Völs – among
of a mall. In 1998, the retail space of its shops
                                                    other outskirt towns of Innsbruck – is a major
(without restaurants, cafés and services) rea-
                                                    commuter destination in the urban region of
ched 18.000 m2, but since then some more
                                                    Innsbruck (figure 6).
buildings integrating a lot of different smal-
ler and larger stores have been erected, so         The emancipation of outskirt villages meant
that the total retail space of Cyta today comes     that they developed their own catchment
to about 25.000 m2. Now it exceeds the retail       areas. Figure 7 shows the catchment area of
space of the inner city mall Sillpark, but it       Wattens, another industrial and commercial




Fig 7: Catchment area of Wattens

                                                                                                       91
Axel Borsdorf



     village on the outskirts of Innsbruck, known          little more than one third live in the core city,
     especially as the site of the Swarovski crystal       may be too small for post-suburban develop-
     factory. The main commuter destinations in            ments. If this is true, the new dynamic poles
     the urban region of Innsbruck are (from West          in the periphery are quite normal subcen-
     to East) Telfs, Zirl, Völs, Matrei, Steinach, Hall,   tres as can be found in every European agglo-
     Wattens and Schwaz.                                   meration. It is a fact that the administrative
                                                           "catchment" of the city of Innsbruck is too
     Do some of the outskirt villages and towns in         small, the sphere of influence of the munici-
     the urban region of Innsbruck already fit the         pal government should be extended to har-
     characteristics of post-suburban units in the         monize development, to reduce the harmful
     spatial system? This question is not easy to          effects of competition between municipalities
     answer, as one must also take into account            and to synergize the efforts of economic sti-
     scale and governance. The Innsbruck region            mulation and improvement of quality of life
     with its 300.000 inhabitants, of which only a         for the citizens.




7    Political and social conditions for suburbanisation
     and post-suburbanisation in Innsbruck

     The Innsbruck development needs to be seen            quite comfortable scope of action. In Tyrol
     in the context of the Austrian regional plan-         and in the urban region of Innsbruck most of
     ning system, the taxation system, and the dis-        these mayors are farmers, come from a rural
     tribution of power in the federal provinces of        background or belong to the farmer’s associa-
     Austria. The main communal revenue sour-              tion within the conservative "Peoples Party",
     ces are the business taxes. So it is the main         the dominant party in the Tyrol. This is why
     objective of all mayors in Austria to attract         land use politics, land speculation and disused
     as many investors as possible to their speci-         farmland are wide-spread in the Tyrol. Unur-
     fic community. In contrast inhabitants cost           banised lots in the communities are a striking
     money, only indirectly may they enhance the           indication of this.
     economic power of the community.
                                                           But the population itself is strongly influen-
     The national regional planning authority is           ced by rural myths and ideals. An identifying
     relatively weak. The power lies with the state        force is the memory of Andreas Hofer, the
     authorities, but nevertheless the local policy        famous early 19th century leader of peasant
     is quite independent and gives the mayor a            resistance against French and Bavarian domi-

92
                                                                       Innsbruck: From city to Cyta?



    nation. In contrast to many German-speaking       Innsbruck reached the 100.000 mark in the
    regions in Europe, Tyrolean farmers never         number of inhabitants.
    have been unfree or vassals. The power of
    Tyrolean farmers, coupled with a certain mis-     Mentality is decisive in many senses, and
    trust towards cities and their citizens has       the image of the strong Tyrolean peasant,
    hampered urban development for centuries.         mountain climber and alpine shepherd is
    The North Tyrol remained a country with           still an icon of self-image and of tourist
    only few cities: until the 20th century Inns-     advertising. Therefore it may not come as
    bruck, Hall, and Kufstein, not counting the       a surprise that the movement towards the
    very small city of Rattenberg, were the           outskirts is quite a strong trend in the urban
    only towns with urban legislation, and only       region of Innsbruck.




8   Conclusion: From city to Cyta?

    Is Cyta the logical consequence of the            planning system, its tools and instruments
    decline of Innsbruck’s "central business dis-     and a systematic reflection on objectives and
    trict" – the original meaning of "Stadt", the     strategies, a co-operation and collaboration
    German term for "city"? Is the most central       of city and outskirts should be possible.
    part in the historical city centre serving more
                                                      But one can’t overlook the fact that in the
    and more as a pure Disneyland for tourists,
                                                      strict sense of urban building Cyta is much
    and loosing its attractiveness for the people
                                                      more a CBD/city than the city centre itself.
    of Innsbruck? Will the rise of the outskirts
                                                      In terms of CBD/city characteristics, Cyta is
    in the shorter or longer term make them a
                                                      an agglomeration of retail trade with a high
    substitute for the cities?
                                                      number of day population and a lack of night
    There is no easy answer. In the case of Inns-     population, high rents and vertical growth.
    bruck, the list of architectural sins is long,    It is well connected to the public transport
    and every year it becomes longer. Neverthe-       system (railroad) and has a high pedestrian
    less, for the people of Innsbruck the beauti-     density. Thus far Cyta displays all characte-
    ful countryside, the mountains, the river and     ristics of one part of the city/central business
    the forests are much more important than the      district, the "commercial city". What it lacks
    built environment. So one can expect co-exis-     are the characteristics of the bank city or the
    tence between city and outskirts, and with        service city – two more parts of the central
    the necessary improvement of the regional         business district of a town.

                                                                                                         93
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