Everyone in Vienna can become a Placemaker. No matter if you are a pensioner or a pupil, an employee of the city hall or a shop owner in the neighbourhood. Placemaking is a creative, joint process to inspire people to adapt their city to common needs and to design it according to their ideas.
In the EU-funded project PlaceCity, methods of placemaking are researched and tested in the Viennese context. This is intended to strengthen the connection between people and the places in their living environment. Which approach is appropriate for Vienna and the public space in Floridsdorf will be tested with interested local actors in the course of the project.
Together with Norway's capital Oslo, Vienna is looking at placemaking methods in two different areas. The centre of Floridsdorf was chosen as the project area for Vienna because of its location, potentials, and challenges representing other decentralized spaces in (European) cities. "Centres are those places in the urban fabric where urban life is concentrated and condensed - where the city is city in the true sense of the word. They are places of diversity of functions, supply and consumption, of meeting and exchange opportunities, places of orientation, culture and urban identity. They fulfil central functions for the business location, for the quality of life and for the image of a city." says the Urban Development Plan Vienna 2025 (p. 60). Typical challenges of Floridsdorf are, for example, vacancies, preference of car use instead of environmental-friendly transport, a heterogeneous population structure as well as an unrelated network of important anchor points within the area. Typical potentials are the connection between city and village as well as a strong sense of identity. All of this can have a positive or negative effect on the public space.
Since the beginning of the project, the focus has been on the exchange with local actors in order to bring experience and local everyday knowledge into the project. Young people from Floridsdorf, local artists, shop owners and members of the Viennese placemaker scene were available for interviews, workshops and discussions. It became clear that the various "imaginations" of Floridsdorf and its centre differ greatly. While for some people the Grätzel around Schlingermarkt, Pius-Parsch-Platz and Franz-Jonas Platz symbolises the "village in the city", others in the project area emphasize the metropolitan centre in the metropolis.
What constitutes public space in Floridsdorf, how it can be experienced and designed as a community, is the focus of the PlaceCity project.
In Vienna, a large number of placemaking activities are already taking place in public space. These impulses are often financially supported by the City of Vienna. This has been clearly demonstrated by the project's progress so far. These activities do not only originate from the public sector but especially from private individuals, initiatives and professional profit and non-profit placemakers. The activities range from the implementation of residential streets and parklets, to theme walks and neighbourhood festivals, upcycling workshops and art installations.
Various exchange formats between the Viennese placemakers enable networking and discussions with each other and with urban actors. Questions about bureaucratic and project planning difficulties within the framework of funding by the City of Vienna and possible future synergies were discussed.
#1 strengthen the center of Floridsdorf
#2 empower local stakeholders
#3 make a socially and ecologically sustainable future in Floridsdorf both desirable and imaginable
JPI Urban Europe
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