The town belongs to the Bregenz Forest, more exactly to the Hintere Bregenzerwald.
Forty percent of its 45 km² area is covered with forest, 34.4% of the area is used as alpine pasture (Almwirtschaft) and for other forms of alpine agriculture.
The town itself is unlike others in the area, as it has no real centre. It consists of several districts, which are (in no particular order): Argenau, Wieden, Lugen, Lebernau, Rehmen, Schrecken, Kreuzgasse, Jaghausen, Am Stein, Argenstein, Argenzipfel and Lisse. Au is an example of a "scattered village" (German: Streudorf).
The town hall is located in Argenau, whereas the church is located in Jaghausen. The district of Rehmen also has its own church.
The river, the Bregenzer Ach, flows through Au and is also the largest river. Alongside the river runs the L200 road, which is the main route through the Bregenz Forest.
The locals divide the town into two parts, which are separated by the river. One Part is called Schattseite (meaning shady side), and consists of the districts of Argenau, Argenzipfel and Wieden, the other part is called Sonnseite (meaning sunny side) and consists (mainly) of Rehmen and Schrecken.
The Vorarlberger Münsterschema, a type of baroque cathedral, was developed by the Beer and Thumb families. Examples of these cathedrals can be found along Lake Constance and in southern Germany.
Michael Beer also founded the Auer Zunft, which is a guild of craftsmen and still existent today. It is one of the oldest guilds in Austria.
From 1805 to 1814 Au belonged to the Kingdom of Bavaria, then was again returned to Austria. It belongs to the province of Vorarlberg since the foundation of the latter 1861.
After World War II Au fell within to the French Occupation Zone of Austria. The occupation lasted from 1945 until the Austrian State Treaty of 1955.
The occupation force also included many Moroccan soldiers, serving in the French army.
The town council of Au, called Gemeinderat, consists of 18 Members, all of them members of the Auer Liste. The current mayor is Pius Natter.
In 2001 the tax earnings summed up to 1,685,000 €, the expenditures were 2,373,380 €. The towns debts amounted 1,946,722 €.
As of 2003 there were 58 companies located in Au, with a total of 349 employees and 38 trainees.
The rest of the 709 registered for income tax are mainly commuters.
A main factor in Au is Tourism. Many private households rent rooms or flats out. There are several hotels, many of them providing special venues or events, e.g. Wellness, Sports, Motorbiking.
Agriculture was the former main income source for the village, until the rise of Tourism.
Au is situated on the L200, the Bregenzerwald Bundesstrasse. Here it connects to the L193, the Faschina Bundesstrasse, which is the main connection to the skiing resort of Damüls.
Public transport consists of the Postbus Line 40, running from Dornbirn to Schoppernau.
In Winter there is also a bus service running through the town, free to use by skiers and locals.
There is a kindergarten, a Volksschule (primary school) and a Hauptschule (secondary school), all located in a building in the district Schrecken.
The secondary school also serves the towns of Schnepfau, Schoppernau, Damüls and Schröcken.
As of January 2003 there were 333 pupils registered in primary and secondary school.Kaspar Moosbrugger ( Vorarlberg School; * May 16, 1656 in Au; † August 26, 1723 in Einsiedeln)
Franz Beer (master builder and co-founder of Vorarlberg School; * April 1, 1660 in Au (Vorarlberg); † January 21, 1726 in Bezau