The outbreak of war put the dynamic urban development and construction in Vienna on hold. Building activity was dictated by the war, its unhappy progress and the inadequate preparation and organization. The constant flow of refugees and wounded soldiers made it necessary to transform Vienna into a city of barracks and hospitals.
The great demand for beds made it necessary to set up a number of emergency or barrack hospitals. In spite of their name and makeshift character, they were modern and functional and designed to handle the constant flow of soldiers arriving from the front.
Vienna was bigger than ever before during the First World War and never as big later. There were no censuses held during the war, so there are no secured statistics to analyse, but numerous indications show that the population must have risen to more than 2.4 millions.