cities and towns

  • Cities and towns as landscapes and living spaces of humans, animals and plants; development of their built shape and its perception; population, urban hygiene development and natural history of the city;
  • Urban infrastructure (cp. "infrastructure" and "transportation"), provision and disposal of materials, relations between urban centers and their hinterlands,
  • Cities and towns as location of production, urban land use. Works from urban history, demography, urban archaeology, including works not centered on urban questions but resulting from research taking place there.

Following the present southern border of the city of Vienna, the rivulet Liesing crosses several types of landscape, which as nowadays mostly built and highly fragmented area do not provide an indication of the historical relation between the spatial development and the watercourse itself. Apart from the inevitable need of water for early human settlements, the region of the Liesing also provided rich resources, which allowed an early economic relation to the growing city of Vienna, whose trade infrastructure crossed the Liesing at several points.

This thesis is part of a comprehensive environmental history research project that studies the interaction between the growing city of Vienna and the water landscape west of the Danube River. The investigation period from 1780 to 1900 covers a highly dynamic era of the industrialization of Vienna. The mutual influence between the water system and the water uses by humans will be investigated on the basis of production processes of selected crafts and the related water supply and wastewater sanitation.

This master thesis is part of the interdisciplinary project URBWATER (Vienna's urban waterscape 1683-1918. An Environmental History), and has a look at the links between water bodies, urban development and human water uses in Vienna from the late 17th to the 20th century. Like in many other cities, humans and their needs for urban development, flood protection, navigation and power generation have influenced fluvial morphology and dynamics in and around Vienna with sometimes unintended consequences that required further interventions.

Most Austrian riverine landscapes and floodplains were heavily modified by the channelization and the following anthropogenic influences in the later 19th and 20th century. In contrast to other Austrian riverine landscapes the Lobau has been conserved as a cohesive floodplain, in spite or because of its vicinity to the city of Vienna. To analyse the complexity of the development of the land use in the Lobau was the main aim of this master thesis.

The water quality above the city of Linz in regard to chemical, bacteriological and ecological conditions can be regarded as good and an errection of a stream bath is possible without concerns to hygiene. On the right bank, the effluent inlet at St.Margarethen up to the Niebelungenbrücke does not recommend the building of a stream bath at all. On the left bank, pollution starts below the Niebelungenbrücke. Two spots seem to be most considerable for the stream bath: The best option is the right bank in the section of Anschlussmauer and the upper end of St.Margarethen.

This study presents results of 2D- and 3D-reconstructions of the Danube floodplain in Vienna based on historical sources. Prior to channelization, the Danube River was anabranched and consisted of more than 90 % lotic water bodies. Over the long term, erosion and aggradation remained presumably in a dynamic equilibrium. This resulted in permanent regeneration/rejuvenation of the different habitats. River channelization primarily led to a stabilization of the former morphodynamic processes.

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