Around 1900, the city of Lviv (Lemberg) was perceived by the local political elites as a Polish city, although the percentage of national “minorities” was about 50 percent. The city council sought generally to modernize Lemberg as a Polish (spare) capital, so that public health issues played a key role within these attempts. A crucial part of this project was hence the implementation of “modern” sewers. In their search for feasible technical solutions, the councilors were scouting models from all over Europe except the ones from the Habsburg Empire of which they formed part of. Yet, when it came to questions of aesthetics, they tried to follow the examples of Warsaw and other Polish cities. In other words, even issues of public health were marked by the nationalist agenda of the city council, dominated by ethnic Poles and eager to transform Lviv into a “Polish town.” The case of Lviv shows how decisions in urban reform were shaped by the political constellations of the time, in particular the multi-ethnic and multi-religious characteristics of the Habsburg crownland of Galicia, of which anti-Semitism formed an integral part.