Nature and Open Spaces
Building an urban settlement for 3.000 - 4.000 people in the immediate proximity of a sensitive, unique natural landscape requires careful and meticulous planning. Accordingly, the concept designed by Atelier Dreiseitl had the primary objective of limiting and controlling the anticipated high user pressure that could be exerted on the sensitive alluvial forests along the Traun river and at the same time providing attractive open spaces with high recreational value in and around the solarCity.
The Lake "Kleiner Weikerlsee"
The Kleiner Weikerlsee was extended by 70 per cent. This new lake impressively demonstrates the planning philosophy. The southeastern shore has been conceived as an expansive sunbathing lawn adjoining a swimming area. In the southern and southwestern areas, the natural landscape has been preserved and allowed to develop naturally and unrestrictedly. This demonstrates an intelligent and pragmatic integration of the needs and requirements of both the residents and the natural environment.
The Landscape Park
The principal idea and function of the landscape park is for it to serve as a transitional filter between the residential area and the natural landscape. Hills built up out of material excavated in extending the lake form the spatial structure on which this concept is based, on the one hand fulfilling the needs of the nearby residents, such as going for walks, meeting one another, playing etc., and on the other hand giving nature a chance to take possession of various niches between the hills. This basic structure has been filled with a variety of facilities, such as playgrounds, an area for fairs or other large gatherings, and a constructed wetland for wastewater treatment.
The Aumühlbach Stream
The restoration of the Aumühlbach stream in the urban districts of Ebelsberg und Pichling was completed in 2005. Since April 2004, water has again flowed freely through the 4.2-kilometer streambed. The water input comes from the Steininger weir near the Traun Bridge in Ebelsberg.
Now that the Aumühlbach stream has been restored, there is once again an unbroken connection of water bodies between the Freindorfer Mühlbach stream and the “Mitterwasser”, a groundwater-fed former side channel of the Danube River in the Traun-Danube alluvial meadows. Five bridges have been constructed. The accompanying ecological planning was carried out by the urban and landscape architecture firm TOPOS III Planergruppe Leitner & Co ZT-KEG. The planting along the banks of the stream was done by the municipal department of parks and gardens of the City of Linz.
The Traun-Danube Alluvial Meadows
Most of the Traun-Danube alluvial meadow area is legally protected as a nature reserve.
A central priority was to maintain the protection of this unique natural landscape while at the same time allowing the residents of the solarCity to experience this area of unspoiled nature.
New nature trails for taking walks were created in the Natura 2000 region of the Traun-Danube meadows. These signposted nature trails have the effect of opening up parts of the alluvial meadow area to visitors while at the same time exerting subtle control on human impact.
The Traun-Danube meadows provide ideal natural habitats for numerous rare species of fauna and flora. The Natura 2000 protected area is characterized by a wide variety of vegetation types, including alluvial forests with grey alder, willows and other hardwood trees. This environment includes the habitats of beavers, kingfishers, golden orioles, great crested grebes, bats, grass snakes and European tree frogs, to mention only a few.