This year's George C. Marshall visit to Austria on "Smart Infrastructure" took place from June 2 to 6, 2014.
The American visitors included representatives from the cities of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Universities of California/Irvine and Minnesota as well as from the Office or the Governor of Virginia.
After a political and economic overview about Austria given by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the participants toured best practice projects in Vienna and Salzburg: from "Seestadt Aspern" – Vienna's Urban Lakeside, a new, multifunctional urban district in Vienna – to the Smart Grids model village Köstendorf in Salzburg; from AIT's SmartEST Laboratory to the Vienna Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant; from the world's first passive high-rise building in Vienna to the housing development project "Rosa Zukunft" in Salzburg.
Another highlight was the policy briefing with Maria Vassilakou, Deputy Mayor of Vienna and City Commissioner for urban planning, traffic & transport, climate protection, energy, and public participation.
The George C. Marshall Visit to Austria program was established in 2007 by the Austrian government to recognize the assistance Austria received from the U.S. after World War II. Every year, the program brings to Austria a group of decision makers from the United States Congress and the administration, various federal and state-level agencies, universities, as well as think tanks and industry associations to highlight Austrian innovations in industry and technology. The program's objective is to improve mutual understanding through communication at personal and professional levels, coordinated and administered by the Austrian Foreign Ministry.