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Vienna Municipality's Sustainable Urban Renewal Programme is awarded for putting people and their views first in a model urban renovation programme it is imparting to other cities in eastern Europe. Under its so-called "soft urban renewal" drive that started in 1984, the city is careful to consult its residents on changes and take their views into account – rather than opt for the demolition of run down neighbourhoods and compulsory relocation. At the time, more than 300,000 dwellings without toilets or water and sanitation making up some 40 percent of Vienna's housing stock were targeted for renovation. Under the multi-million dollar programme over the years the sub-standard housing stock has been reduced to below nine percent following improvements to more than 5,000 buildings with nearly a quarter of a million apartments.
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