This morning we went to our new location for the second week of classes – the TU Wien!

We started the day with a lecture by Elisabeth Aufhauser and Yvonne Franz about how sustainability is integrated in urban planning. We were divided into groups were each group skipped through urban plans from Vienna, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Munich and Malmö. We looked at how sustainability was defined and if there were either explicit or implicit parameters for sustainability. In the end every group presented some defined socio economic parameters of sustainability.

Morning lesson: For every project we are engaged in we should do at least a small analysis on a quality level on sustainability parameters. These parameters actually depend on which city’s plan you look at and the urban plan is alwaysshaped depending on these city contexts.

Lunch break! Finally we got to go to having lunch at the famous Naschmarket.

After lunch initially a workshop about life cycle cost was planned, unfortunately the lecturer was sick and could not make it to our classroom. Therefore we directly went on with the next item on the program; a visit to the world’s first eco hotel – hotel Stadtboutique! This hotel is a very nice example of a green building in a quite polluting industry and the building showed both new developments as renovation. One part of the hotel was newly constructed and one part was thoughtfully renovated which resulted in a total zero energy balance building. The hotel rooms do not have minibars or air-conditioning but do have green walls, organic & local breakfast food and photovoltaic on the roof. After a tour through the building, we got the chance to ask questions to the director of the hotel: Michaele Reitterer, a very inspiring entrepreneur!

Afternoon lesson: Business models should be sustainable! Reitterer points out that ‘even she is green and crazy’ she is an entrepreneur and sustainability has to be accompanied by profitability.

Quote of the day (while telling about her struggle trying to get innovative ideas approved by the municipality); “If the people working at the municipality would have visions and ideals they would have been entrepreneurs and won’t have been working for the government”.

We had some free time in the afternoon where we discovered a very nice shopping district with vintage clothing – very eco friendly ;-)! Also I sat down at a cute espresso bar to write this GBS diary article….

Text & Photos: Darinde Gijzel