Four housing owners took part in SINFONIA, two in each of the demo cities Innsbruck and Bolzano. In total, more than 100,000 m² of residential and public buildings from the 30s-80s have been refurbished in the course of the project, requiring the involvement of tenants and schools. As part of the SINFONIA consortium, the housing associations were involved by means of project management instruments, like the District team or the Local stakeholer panel.

Participating housing owners

City of Bolzano


The City of Bolzano is capital of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano placed in the South Tyrol area, in the north of Italy. Actually the city of Bolzano has about 105.000 inhabitants. City administration is composed of about 1100 employees. Their legal entity is thus responsible, being part of a multi-ethnic environment like that of South Tyrol and Bolzano in particular, of the management, organization, supervision and implementation of all activities and projects connected in some way to the needs of inhabitants and of everything that is of public interest.

Institute for Social Housing in Bolzano


The Institute for Social Housing is a public legal body. It legally succeeded to the “Istituti autonomo case popolari”, an institution of council housing founded back in 1934 in order to provide dwellings for the factory workers and their familes. In 1972 the Institute was transfered to the Autonomous Provincial Government of South Tyrol. The institute actually has about 13.000 flats at its disposal and 230 premises rented out as shops, offices or pubs, located in 115 South Tyrolean municipalities. Moreover, it is in charge of about 450 beds in workers hostels.

Neue Heimat Tirol


The NHT is one of the leading property developers and social housing associations in Western Austria. The NHT offers its services to all municipalities and institutions in Tyrol. With a focus on cost-oriented architecture, a high standard of housing and increasing environmental orientation, NHT takes account of socially deprived and older citizens.

The NHT is a charitable housing association linked to the Limited Profit Housing Act (Wohnungsgemeinnützigkeitsgesetz). The rental contract is set up in accordance to the Limited Profit Housing Act and the Tyrolean housing subsidy law of 1991. On the one hand, the Limited Profit Housing Act is a national organizational right and on the other hand housing civil law which defines and controles the relationship between the charitable housing association as constructor, renter and administrator of living space and flat users. The main principles of the Limited Profit Housing Act are the cost covering principle, asset commitment principle and business circle restriction.

Innsbrucker Immobilien Gesellschaft


The IIG is the real estate company of Innsbruck and is 100 % owned by the city of Innsbruck. Its tasks encompass building management, planning, construction and project management for new building projects and general refurbishments. The IIG is an actor in creation, conservation and administration of housing and office buildings and municipal institutions (schools, kindergarten, sports facilities and fire departments).

Involvement strategies and methods

Working group meetings in Bolzano

Stakeholder involvement is aiming at encouraging stronger interdisciplinary collaboration between stakeholder groups. The success of SINFONIA is based on the connections and the interdisciplinary of all the topics. The working group meetings established in Bolzano were important to deepen the knowledge exchange on specific topics and for decision-making on single activity. In Working group 1 – Energy in Buildings, housing associations, technical consultants and energy providers in Bolzano worked together in a comfortable environment, based on trust and the possibility to make effective choices. The meetings took place on a monthly basis, lasted from 1,5 to 4 hours and were usually managed by one leader.

Working group in the district of Bolzano

Local stakeholder panel (LSP) meetings in Innsbruck

The LSP aimed at the institutional embedding of activities concerning stakeholder involvement in Innsbruck. It included the evaluation of communication pathways, e.g. between project partners and their clients and vice versa. The LSP is closely tied to the Communication team as well as to the District team, but the focus of the first lied more strongly on the scientific input to and evaluation of communication routines in smart cities and to stakeholder management in general, while the latter is focussing on the practical application of communication activities. Panel members are equal to the members of the Communication and the District team and consist, besides other local partners, of representatives of the local housing owners NHT and IIG.

The panel aims at the following goals:

  • Institutional embedding of activities concerning stakeholder involvement
  • Regular exchange meetings between partners in Innsbruck
  • Learning from each other: input of partners, stakeholders and external experts and regular update of activities in Bolzano
  • Coordination of data collection
  • Evaluation of communication pathways

Involvement in Sets of Solutions


  • Social housing companies have limited budgets.
  • Ambitious refurbishment is not always economically sustainable because payback is longer than technical life.
  • In the course of SINFONIA are very high technical targets to reach.
  • When the timeframes for planning ans implementation are delayed a lot of money and time is neccessary to recalculate and to redesign.
  • Real innovations are not standard yet. It’s not sure that they are successful and there`s no guarantee that they will last for a long time.
  • During the project period new laws concerning earthquakes and statical conditions of houses were released. That causes new initial positions and conditions, delays in the planning phase and the timeframes.