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Living in green Graz – why sustainability means more than just planting trees

“Sustainable development aims at meeting the needs of the current generation without endangering the desire of future ones to satisfy their own requirements.” This is how the Department of the Environment in the City of Graz defines its thoughts on the topic of sustainable urban planning. Keeping the ecological, economic and social processes within urban development in harmony has a positive impact on residents, business owners and tourism in the short and long term. Even if a sustainable city is not necessarily immediately recognisable.

Sustainability is firstly a question of mindset

When a city embraces sustainability, it is primarily noticeable in a different mindset, in projects, in ideas that focus on the future and resources and in innumerable small (and large) mosaic stones. There are many – private and public – initiatives in Graz that highlight the willingness to adopt sustainable practices in a green city. Did you know that Graz won an award for its ‘veggie lifestyle’ in 2022? An analysis run by the online portal ranked the capital of green Styria in third place for Austria: Residents of Graz love a vegan and vegetarian diet and generate considerable demand for relevant products and services. Graz also scores highly for tourism due to its contemporary and responsible practices: A 2023 ranking by checkfelix places Graz third for ‘responsible travellers’. Worldwide.

Responsible tourism – sustainable lifestyles for everyone

The ‘2023 City Index for Responsible Traveler’ by the travel search engine checkfelix examined 167 cities from 63 countries around the world according to 28 factors, including questions about climate-friendly travel (rail), whether the airport is CO₂-certified and how easy it is to use public transport in each city. Cycling lanes and footpaths, air quality, the potability of tap water, initiatives and experiences that are indicative of environmentally conscious habits – such as a vibrant local community, shopping at local markets or in second-hand stores – also featured in this ranking. All of these aspects make a visit to the city liveable and attractive for sustainability-minded tourists and prove furthermore that responsible living is already firmly enshrined in everyday life for the people of Graz themselves.

Breeding ground for a green future

However, such pleasing results must always build on and start with the determination of those entrusted with responsibility (for the city), the attitude and commitment of exemplary citizens and ultimately the ‘determination to contribute’ among all residents of Graz. A platform such as ‘Sustainable in Graz’ (link with its numerous initiative and the projects run by the Province of Styria (link create a breeding ground for clear opportunities for sustainable lifestyles, urban development and a ‘green Graz’ to flourish and grow. This positive mindset among the people of Graz gives WEGRAZ, as a responsible site and project developer, a real and welcome boost to plan and build revolutionary locations. ‘Smart living’, ‘Third places’, the use of resource-efficient technologies, a reshaping of attitudes and the necessary changes in how land use is planed: these are the principles and trends that define what we do and that establish a breeding ground for a ‘green Graz’ to thrive.

Visit the glossary on our website to learn more about trend topics relating to sustainable living and housing (Link