Bail out a bank or build the city of the future? Ways to spend 19 billion Euros in Vienna.

Honorata Fijalka
October 2014
Autumn light dashes on the silhouettes of busy young men and women. Together they assemble modelled pieces of concrete, little wind farms, model bridges overarching green park spaces and a river biotop. Brick after brick they assemble a model of the fictions 100,000 inhabitants city Hypotopia in a 20 meter diameter pond at Karlsplatz, one of the main squares of Austria's capital. According to plans and designs by students of Vienna's Technical University the skyline of a utopian 100,000 inhabitants city emerges. When you approach you see a state-of-the-art medical facility, a sports stadium for an audience of 20,000, a hydropower-plant that provides green energy and an an energy efficient public transportation system. It looks and feels like a nerdy sustainability project made to impress, with its interconnection of disciplines, smart energy use and high life quality standards.
 
We could have had it all in real life. If we had 19 billion Euro to spend - that's the estimated construction costs of Hypotopia. In real life the Austrian government has just spend exactly that amount of money to bail out Hypo-Alpe-Adria-Bank, one of Austria's local banks. ’One of the fundamental and effective tools of the human imagination is the proportionality’, says Mr. Zeilbauer, student and initiator of this project. ‘Almost everything is put in relation to something known, tangible and won out of our experience’, he emphasises the idea on the web.  The students’ tangible initiative to put the opportunity cost of bank financing in relation to foregone opportunity of building a modern city was leveraged by building materials donations from over 30 firms and by 90 individuals volunteering their time for the project's realisation.
 
Hypotopia model exhibition: Vienna, Karlsplatz, October 15-30, 2014. Entry is free.
July 2014
Property is a relationship, not a thing. Solving the Tragedy of the Commons in the residential sector.
Ksenia Poplavskaya
As in case of any common-pool resources, individual homeowners tend to be guided by personal priorities rather than group interests. But is there a way to achieve common rationality?
May 2014
Animated cartoon as a successful marketing tool to attract residential clients
Ksenia Kroshneva and Honorata Fijalka
The RuSEFF-Residential team designed a cartoon film to trigger household decisions for energy efficient refurbishment and its financing with the help of a loan.
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