Shared mobility and housing – legal framework in Austria


  • Oliver Peck TU Wien


sustainable mobility, carsharing, building law, housing, mobility services




The mobility services available in the residential area play a key role in determining mobility behaviour, especially since around 80 percent of everyday journeys start or end at the place of residence. If residents are to switch from motorized individual transport to more sustainable transport in the future, attractive alternative mobility services have to be offered in the area of housing, e.g. by setting up car or bike sharing services in housing estates, platforms for carpooling, providing tickets for public transport, etc. Especially enforcing the integration of car sharing services in the residential environment is seen as a game-changer to reduce motorization rate, change mobility bevahiour und reduce land use for parking spaces.

Housing and mobility should therefore increasingly be considered as a holistic concept. This means the implementation of sustainable mobility concepts into new housing projects. But also, the task of transforming the existing building stock offers an opportunity to link the areas of housing and mobility more closely.

So far, the relevant legal framework in Austria for the integration of mobility and housing (i.e. spatial planning laws and building regulations) sets only very general targets regarding mobility in residential areas. Planning law requires a minimum level of transport infrastructure as a precondition for settlement development. Building regulations primarily focus on motorized individual transport by stating obligations to provide parking spaces for cars when new residential buildings are constructed. In Vienna, recently the option was introduced that by establishing a car-sharing service, the number of compulsory parking spaces is reduced. But overall, there is still no comprehensive legal basis for the integration of alternative mobility services into housing.

To strengthen the role of alternative mobility services in residential housing, new approaches are being discussed. For example, property developers could be obliged by the law to implement alternative mobility concepts (including, for example, of car sharing services) instead of building parking spaces. On the other hand, the provision of sustainable mobility at the place of residence can also be seen as a responsibility of the public sector. In this case, the obligation for developers to build parking spaces could be replaced by introducing a new “mobility tax”, the funds from which can be used for financing alternative mobility services offered by the public sector.

In any case, before an adapted legal framework - which not only takes car traffic into account, but also the integration of alternative transport options - can be established, essential questions need to be clarified. Should mobility services be set up on-site and only accessible to residents or generally accessible and set up in public areas? Who should be responsible for setting up and operating the mobility services: developers, the public sector or the residents themselves? How can sustainable funding be achieved for long-term operation? These questions are still to be examined more closely in the future in an interdisciplinary way.