How can an area become a “solar district” and at..

How can an area become a “solar district” and at the same time be socially upgraded? The city of Salzburg demonstrates this transformation, aiming to expand the use of solar heating to a higher level for the district of Lehen.


Lehen is Salzburg`s largest district. It is close to the city centre and has a very high population density. In the past, the district has had to face social challenges: a football stadium was demolished, business-parks were abandoned and small shops uprooted and moved to the bigger shopping centres or simply closed down. Added to this was the fact that most of the districts` buildings weren`t refurbished.

CONCERTO has given the district a new lease of life and Lehen has been reconstructed and turned into a sustainable city area. The aim was to highlight the existing structure via new building measures, including streets, traffic and open spaces, and to mark the beginning of a long-term renewal process, which would turn Lehen into a model city district of sustainable development. Large social housing blocks in this area have been renovated and new buildings have been constructed, together with a model passive house.

The new social housing complex “Stadtwerk Lehen” has been equipped with an innovative local district heating network with solar energy storage. The neighbourhood has been enhanced by specific construction projects that restore the central functions of public life, such as a new municipal library and a daycare centre for elderly people. One important aspect of the project was to make sure that the residents were integrated into the development process, e.g. by organising information campaigns and by involving them in planning activities. Today the district appears as a modern and friendly area with a functional infrastructure and energy efficient buildings.