View on the city of Innsbruck with mountain range "Nordkette" behind, ©_Innsbruck_Tourismus,_Mario_Webhofe

Innsbruck Austria

The outdoor sport destination Innsbruck is nestled between high mountains, leaving little space for the Tyrolean capital to expand. 

Cooperation with Build-in-Wood

The city of Innsbruck is officially one of six Early Adopter Cities of the Build-in-Wood project.


To this point, Innsbruck signed the letter of commitment, participated in the Welcome Webinar and provided critical information on the status of timber as a building material, related projects and challenges to be addressed.

Innsbruck's first workshop took place in October 2020 and was attended by ~20 stakeholders. The second workshop ("Area-based planning and scenario development") was held in Septeber 2021.

The Challenge

  • compact, high-density urban area with little undeveloped land

  • valley-location constrained by mountainous landscape

  • Traditional / outdated perception of timber as material for "wood cabins" not urban housing

Build-in-Wood Focus

  • Densification, adding new stories on existing buildings,

  • Simplification of legislation and building codes (fire, acoustics)

  • Implementation of timber-positive tendering in public sector


Project status: 

2. workshop completed

Key Build-in-Wood Partner

  • proHolz Tirol
    Wood Association

  • rtd Services OG

    Urban Planning Agency

Innsbruck is looking forward to collaborating with Build-in-Wood to create a new era of timber constructions while protecting our climate and strengthening Tyrolean economy.

Georg Willi, Mayor of Innsbruck


Recent news


First Early Adopter City Workshop

October 2020. Innsbruck’s first workshop was attended by 19 stakeholders that discussed various challenges and scenarios in groups.


More timber construction for Innsbruck

September 2020. Press Conference about multi-storey and urban timber construction with Mayor of Innsbruck, Georg Willi.

About Innsbruck

The first signs of human settlement date back to the early Stone Age and since then Innsbruck has been continuously populated. The city’s name translates as “Bridge over the River Inn” and was first given in the 12th century. Three centuries later, Emperor Maximilian made Innsbruck his imperial residence and thereby raised the city to European relevance.

Surrounded by mountains of over 2.000m, Innsbruck hosted the Olympic winter games twice, in 1964 and 1976.

Nowadays, the Tyrolean capital is the 5th largest city in Austria (~130.000 inhabitants) and is a thriving holiday location and student city.

Past and present

© Innsbruck Tourismus / Tommy Bause
© Innsbruck Tourismus / Tommy Bause

Innsbruck in winter - snow capped "Nordkette"

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© Innsbruck Tourismus / Tommy Bause
© Innsbruck Tourismus / Tommy Bause

Innsbruck divided by the river Inn in front of Karwendel mountain range "Nordkette"

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© Innsbruck Tourismus / Christof Lackner
© Innsbruck Tourismus / Christof Lackner

Old Town / City Center

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© Innsbruck Tourismus / Tommy Bause
© Innsbruck Tourismus / Tommy Bause

Innsbruck in winter - snow capped "Nordkette"

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Innsbruck and wood

As Tyrol is vastly covered with forest areas (41% of the state’s surface), there is a strong tradition of building with wood. Especially in surrounding mountain villages, wood is the prevailing building material. Because of the long building tradition and passed-on expertise over generations, the local timber industry performs to exceptionally high quality standards. Most of the businesses are family-led and reach from global players to one-man-shows.

Even though new materials have their share, around 30% of all built volume (above ground) in Tyrol today is wooden. With this percentage, Tyrol is well above the Austrian average.

While the state of Tyrol is strong in low-rise timber construction, there is a huge potential for taller constructions to claim their part.