Repair & Do-It-Yourself Urbanism (R&DIY-U)

Project Lead: Michael Jonas
Team: Simeon Hassemer, Astrid Segert
Duration/Start: 2017 - 2020
Funding: bmvit and FFG (“Stadt der Zukunft”, 4th call), project no 861708 (FFG)

In Vienna – as in other cities in Europe – tons of electrical appliances, furniture, textiles, toys and other everyday items are thrown away even though they could frequently still have been used further had they been repaired, maintained or shared. The resulting large quantities of energy and resource intensive garbage are the result not only of production and usage practices in the business sector or lifestyle and milieu specific consumption practices in the private sector, but also of the virtual absence of corresponding urban infrastructures.
At the same time, a rise in sharing projects, recycling measures, DIY activities and repair initiatives – subsumed in research under the label DIY urbanism (revival) – can also be observed in many cities. Even if such – and other – initiatives and practices are not established in these cities on a broad scale, DIY urbanism is nonetheless attributed enormous potential when it comes to transforming non-sustainable urban areas and their infrastructures and dominant business and private household practices into resilient areas.

The project takes up these observations in the repair and DIY sectors and will make a significant contribution to the development, planning and realization of current and future activities, services and infrastructure measures which can be integrated into sustainable city developments. The focus thereby lies on selected districts in Vienna where small networks of relevant commercial, civil society and intermediary repair and DIY urbanism (R&DIY-U) activists have already formed, yet whose potential with regard to the development of resilient urban districts has by no means been exhausted. With a transdisciplinary R&D consortium that comprises a fundamental and applied research group (IHS), an intermediary organization ("die umweltberatung") as well as commercial and non-profit R&DIY-U practitioners (HausGeräteProfi, Sit-In, LORENZI, Recycling Kosmos, Wiener Hilfswerk), the research project incorporates multiple perspectives and R&DIY-U practices.

In the project international good practice examples, field analysis in specific districts, the development, carrying out and monitoring of R&DIY-U experiments, an analysis of the transformative potential of R&DIY-U with regard to the development of resilient urban districts, a stakeholder workshop and, last but not least, scenario development will be combined.