The innovation laboratory for green cities of tomorrow

GRÜNSTATTGRAU is the Austrian coordinator for public and private-sector greening on buildings, linking more than 300 partners from business, science and administration together. The Austrian Association for Greening buildings (Verband für Bauwerksbegrünung/ forms the basis for it. GRÜNSTATTGRAU was launched as the first innovation laboratory within the framework of the bmvit programme “City of Tomorrow”, to promote collaboration and synergies in the research sector “Green City” and support implementing cutting-edge projects. Its activities are currently focussed on the Kretaviertel (Favoriten) neighbourhood in Vienna, and on other target areas for synergies in Graz, St. Pölten, Linz and the province of Vorarlberg. Cross-linking and collaboration between business, research and the public sector give impetus to greening buildings and urban districts throughout Austria. 

The innovation laboratory is intended to:
> research and realize ways of implementing pioneering greening measures over large areas
> improve the amenity of public space by means of greening adjacent buildings
> create new plant structures in densely built-over areas
> expand the social functions of intelligently used greened building complexes and open spaces.

The innovation laboratory emphasizes shared, interdisciplinary learning and development, employing open-access methods, the mutual exchange of best-practice examples and active participation by residents. The aim is to identify new topics and strategies for green cities, and to develop these further in co-creation processes together with citizens, the administration and policymakers.

The GRÜNSTATTGRAU instruments

The greened shipping container MUGLI ( serves as a mobile experimental unit and makes the laboratory’s activities and the network partners’ technological innovations in a roadshow visible throughout Austria and abroad. As a site of learning, stakeholder activation and data generation it is a key feature of the innovation laboratory.

The innovation laboratory supports various groups of stakeholders with customized service facilities. These include project-related services for demonstration and R&D projects, initial guidance, an exhibitor-, experts- and technology platform, certification procedures, project development, advanced training and the development of business models.

The GRÜNSTATTGRAU online portal is intended to serve as a platform and interface for green facilities in urban space. The website helps the network partners to exchange information, and also functions as a central reception point for the public at large.

Green roofs and photovoltaic (PV)

New technologies make it possible to combine light-permeable PV equipment with plants. Roof greening is used throughout Europe to cool PV modules, which thus deliver more power. To research the potential of these pioneering technologies GRÜNSTATTGRAU collaborates with the innovation laboratory The aim is to take more advantage of the synergies between roof-greening and PV in future. 


In german: MUGLI – Grün statt Grau
Ein Film von: Niko Formanek


  • Green roof with PV in London, photo: GRÜNSTATTGRAU, Dusty Gedge
    Green roof with PV in London, photo: GRÜNSTATTGRAU, Dusty Gedge
  • PV over roof garden, BOKU in Vienna, photo: GRÜNSTATTGRAU, Dusty Gedge
    PV over roof garden, BOKU in Vienna, photo: GRÜNSTATTGRAU, Dusty Gedge