Villach (Austria)

Villach is a city of 59,000 inhabitants, located on the Drava River in Austria. It is the second largest city in Carinthia, 250 km southwest of the capital Vienna, and is an important transportation hub in Austria and the whole Alpe-Adria region. The city pays special attention to the development of its public transport system.

Villach demonstrates a modal split of 20 percent pedestrians; 10 percent cycling; 61 percent private cars; and 9 percent public transport.

The city’s strategic approach to transport management is currently defined by a sustainable transport management strategy, which was passed in 1995. This has resulted in a sustainable urban transport plan, the main targets of which include making the public transport system more attractive; installing a city bus service; restricting car access to the city center; improving parking management; creating a car park routing system; expanding the cycle lane network; creating more attractive pedestrian areas; and developing road infrastructure for trade and industry.

Progress has been good: most of the goals have been successfully realized, with the exception of the city bus service. Achievements to date include innovative measures such as the low-price taxi pooling service “VAXI” and an SMS parking system. Among the infrastructural developments are the expanded cycling network, comprising 150 km of bike lanes; the development of cyclist- and pedestrian-friendly roads to the industrial zone; and the creation of safe pedestrian zones around schools. Special emphasis on clean vehicles and alternative fuels has been demonstrated through the establishment of free e-filling stations for electric vehicles and subsidies for purchasing electric bikes. 

Remaining challenges include the establishment of the city bus service. The transport plan, which was drawn up 16 years ago, is due for revision. The process will start with a public consultation and will be completed within two years.

Summary finalized: May 2011

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