Vienna Media News 03/2021 Greener by the Day
Right now, there is nothing safer than spending time outdoors – and there’s nowhere nicer to do so than Vienna. In spring the city’s parks and gardens really start to come into their own. The trees are budding, early bloomers come into flower and everything is steeped in a rich shade of green. In fact, more than half of Vienna’s total area is accounted for by green spaces, with the center of the old town allocated more than its fair share of parks. In the Volksgarten, thousands of rose bushes – 400 different varieties in all – provide a fitting backcloth to the dazzling white Theseus Temple. Meanwhile, in the Burggarten visitors can make themselves comfortable on the lawn, while music lovers make their pilgrimages to the Mozart statue. And the Stadtpark, Vienna’s oldest park, is home to the city’s most photographed monument: a golden statue of the waltz king, Johann Strauss.
Cool down – tackling urban heat islands
Vienna is one of the world’s greenest cities, and even earned itself top spot in the Resonance consultancy’s 2020 list of The World’s 10 Greenest Cities. All told, Vienna has around 1,000 parks and green spaces, with more being added all the time. Over the past ten years, a new green space has been added every 18 days, on average. In September 2020, work on Vienna’s first Cooling Park in the Esterházypark was completed, giving local residents a place to escape the late-summer heat. The center of the park contains a 30-square-meter shaded “Coolspot” complete with plants and misting sprays. One of many similar measures introduced by the City of Vienna to help combat urban heat islands, it is expected to cut ambient temperatures – which are rising as a result of climate change – by around six degrees. The cooling park is a flagship project in the drive to make Vienna a “climate model city”.
The floating gardens on the Danube Canal, which opened at the start of October 2020, are already shaping up to be a popular meeting spot for the upcoming outdoor season. Long-unused, the Kaiserbadschleuse lock on the Danube Canal has now been given a green makeover complete with seats and loungers, adding another 1,500 square meters of recreation space in the center of the city. Thanks to its waterside location, this project will also provide welcome respite from the heat of summer.
Completed in November 2020, the new traffic-calmed zone on Neubaugasse is another variation on the theme. The project saw around 100 outdoor seats added to the popular shopping street in the seventh district alongside 29 trees and numerous plants, while misting sprays help to keep temperatures pleasant on even the hottest of days. This spring, visitors will be able to take full advantage of the new semi-pedestrianized area for the first time.
On the city’s rooftops
New green spaces and public meeting places are opening up on Vienna’s rooftops all the time. In fall 2021, the city will welcome yet another publicly accessible rooftop terrace when Swedish furniture giant Ikea opens its upcoming city-center store next to Westbahnhof, which will have a leafy garden on top of it. In all, around 160 trees on the roof and facade will help to create a pleasant microclimate. The terrace, which promises to be a popular location for a coffee and a chat, will also be open outside normal shopping hours. Another of the building’s tenants, the Accor Group, is opening a Joe&Joe hostel on the top two floors of the property.
The MQ Libelle, a new panorama terrace on the roof of the Leopold Museum at the MuseumsQuartier, is gearing up for its first full season, having only just opened in fall 2020. As well as offering some of the best views of the old town, it also has the treasures of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and Naturhistorisches Museum as well as Heldenplatz at its feet. Designed by Laurids Ortner, the MQ Libelle is an architectural highlight in its own right, and features a light installation of glowing rings by the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz. Visible from a distance, the rings clearly show that the roof of the Leopold Museum has come to life. The MQ Libelle is open to the public and while there is no obligation to buy anything, there is a kiosk where visitors can pick up snacks and drinks if they want to.
ivie – your personal Vienna guide
The Vienna Tourist Board’s digital city guide ivie (available free for iOS and Android) is full of useful information on the city’s parks and gardens. In fact, it’s the perfect companion for exploring the capital with information on all the tucked-away museums, architectural hotspots, beautiful parks, great markets and places that a lot of locals aren’t necessarily aware of, but are always worth a visit. For further information visit ivie.vienna.info
- The World's 10 Greenest Cities 2020 ranking published by US/Canadian consultancy Resonance: www.bestcities.org/news/2020/04/22/the-worlds-greenest-cities/
- Volksgarten, Burggarten, Stadtpark, 1010 Vienna
- Esterházypark, 1060 Vienna
- Floating gardens on the Danube, between the Augartenbrücke and Salztorbrücke bridges, 1010 Vienna
- Neubaugasse traffic calming zone, 1070 Vienna
- Ikea am Westbahnhof, 1150 Vienna, www.ikea.com/at/de/stores/wien-westbahnhof/
- MQ Libelle on the roof of the Leopold Museum at the MuseumsQuartier, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna, www.mqw.at
Vienna Tourist Board
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364