Sunday, August 2, 2009

Friday Feature (on Sunday!),A Line Anew

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Welcome to the weekly Friday feature. Today, I am 2 days late, but still not a dollar short. Anyway been very busy, kids were going into town yesterday so prep for that was a bit crazy.

So with this image we cross the channel into mainland Europe and the wonderful Austrian city of Vienna. The very nice folks over at Cycling Is Good for You are the ones that tend to focus on things like this, and I am sure they have mentioned this specific path somewhere as it is relatively new and well done I think. This line is rather short but very nice and the addition of green spaces makes it quite peaceful. It runs around the well known waste incinerator designed by Austrian architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser in 1992. before that it was one of the first waste to energy plants in the world having been built in the 1980's. According to my friends who I visited with, he initially did not want to do it fearing a corruption of his ideals and ideas. However he eventually agreed with the thought that he could make it better and make it beautiful, and that he certainly did, he made it into a modern landmark in a city steeped in history.

The path itself is a paved cycle priority mixed use path. I remember seeing multiple walkers as well as a Rollerblade and cyclist or two while I was there. it is a well labelled and mostly thought out connection to the tram, bus, metro, and rail transport station at Spittelau Bahnhst. The reason I say mostly is because it runs through the middle of a housing and mixed unit development that flows under over and through the walkway, but it does not directly have access to it. However, one has to go down to the ground level and then walk to the end and then walk back up the path to the elevated station, that part of it was not thought out but that's more the fault of the housing developer then the cycle path. I say flows because of the unique design of the building, the architect escapes me at the moment but it has had some issues selling due to its location to the heating plant, it is certainly an area ready to be developed. I believe the housing was designed as low cost for the next-door university for apartments and the like, but I am not sure.

The heating plant is the Spittelau District Heating Plant and has a small museum detailing its history and what it does, apparently guided tours are also available but we visited on a Sunday so everything was closed.

The trail itself is a former underground to elevated rail line that was put into disuse sometime in the past 20 years I believe.

Google maps
Technical information
Wien Energy

Tower and the side of the facility
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Facing away from the tower and toward the housing development
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A view toward the rail station
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Two views of the mixed use development built around the path
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if you have more information please let me know so I can add it in.

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