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Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Danube Bay becomes a purely political issue

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It is currently completely open whether the Danube Bay will make it from the drawing to reality.
Image: architecture collective GUT

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When the Linz architects’ collective GUT presented their ideas for making the fairgrounds in Linz more attractive on their own initiative (and also at their own expense) in March 2018 and won the “Linzer Prize for Urban Development” initiated by the Neos, city politicians could hardly contain their enthusiasm.

The slightly modified project of the “Danube Bay” emerged from the “Danube Island”, which, as is well known, was said to be unfeasible for reasons of water protection because it would “create a dead body of water”. Goal: A green fairground area that should be given back to the people of Linz as a leisure and recreation area and that should move the city closer to the Danube.

Now that, after many rounds of discussion and planning and the state’s okay with water law, the considerations are finally about to enter the implementation phase, the overall project is suddenly once again a pawn in political debates.

“Too expensive” and a “pie in the sky”

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The Linz SPÖ finds the project too expensive and only wants to implement it step by step, if at all. The ÖVP would also consider an interim solution to be sensible in view of the cost increases. The FPÖ speaks of the “luxury water bay” that has turned out to be a castle in the air and wants to bury the project. The city government should agree “after a long time of planning and horrendous increases in costs on an easily feasible and therefore affordable redesign of the market area”, City Councilor Michael Raml once again clearly stated in a broadcast today.

Only the Greens are clearly on the side of the project, they don’t want to let the “water bay go under”. The city must immediately check whether federal funding is possible. “After all, everyone agrees that the bay and the greening of the fairgrounds would be a great benefit for the city,” City Councilor Eva Schobesberger made clear once again today.

Unclear question of costs

The architects want to start with the bay and then gradually implement their greening plans for the area. In addition to the political debate, there is also one about the rumored costs. Martin Urmann does not know where the nine to ten million euros come from. “We are currently assuming five to six million euros.” The architects cannot explain the three million euros, which are repeatedly mentioned as the original cost of the project. “We never named this sum,” says Urmann.

So there still seems to be a lot of need for discussion on the matter.

Source: Nachrichten

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