Friesach (Austria)

Friesach is a town of around 5,300 inhabitants, located in the Sankt Veit an der Glan district of Carinthia, Austria. Friesach is the oldest town in Carinthia and is located about 40 km north of the provincial capital, Klagenfurt. Growing car traffic, mostly in summer months is a serious challenge...

The town has famous historical monuments: The „Fürstenhof“ (Prince’s Court) and granary, churches and monasteries, three castles, impressive ruins, the outer bailey (unique in Europe) with the imposing „Rad der Fortuna“ and other significant and smaller sights which testify to its great past. 

At present, Friesach doesn’t have specific data on modal split. Most citizens use private cars, and cycling and walking are popular only during the summer months. In the tourist season (mainly summer) there is a significant rise in the number of private cars and buses due to the influx of between 800 and 1,000 tourists a day in the months of July and August. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of visitors use the town’s rail connections. 

The town’s positive economic development has been accompanied by a reduction in the quality of life due to uncontrolled tourism, traffic congestion, parking problems, increased energy consumption and pollution in the town center. 

Friesach still does not have a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan but is working on the realization of a sustainable urban transport policy. 

The town is planning to develop and implement a sustainable route management system for tourists, which would also benefit the local population. The plan is to connect the medieval center with the newly developing castle district in the south of the town. The system will include various possibilities for walking, cycling and public transportation, with the goal of reducing the use of private motor vehicles. 

The main challenges at present are to sustain the quality of life during the summer months and to ensure citizen support for the proposed measures. 

Summary finalized: March 2011

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