Vienna Walking Week
71 million people flew into, or out of, Wien Schwechat airport in 2019. This is completely unsustainable, for a city of just 1.9 million people. We need to rethink what travel means, if we are to reduce fossil fuel use. So we want to draw attention to a new term, tourism for locals, and show the Viennese ways to rediscover their own city. Walking does not have so many strong advocates or lobbyists, but we want to make it more hip, and visible. Because of the varied themes of our walks, they appeal to a diverse audience, who can come on a tour, and find out how interesting it is to meet other engaged residents, on a walk. We create debates in public space. Travellers spend a lot of money on their holidays, and when they arrive somewhere new, they often walk around all day. And yet when they return home, they do not think about walking around their own city in the same way.
Walking is the most ecological form of mobility, but also the most-neglected. We want to change that, & created Vienna Walking Week, in July 2020, August 21, & July 22, to persuade the Viennese to go on holiday in their home town. But far away from Sisi & Schnitzel tours, we present contemporary Vienna back to the Viennese, in all its modern complexity. This is more honest, relevant and entertaining for most Viennese, who would not usually go on a historical, Habsburg tour of the city. They see that as something for tourists only.
Last year's events were a big hit, with coverage in Süddeutsche Zeitung, on the front page of ORF.at and the Italian Government cited it as an example of how tourism could respond to Covid, by showing locals new perspectives of their home city.
Last year, we created many new tours, plus a networking party with lots of new faces, & a walk-to-work day, to encourage more people to use their fee
Our tours are entirely sustainable. And since a ticket for the whole week of tours costs €50, and €10 for each individual tour, they are much more accessible than the average holiday abroad in hotels, but also considerably cheaper than the official tourist tours of Vienna. Walking - unlike cycling or car-driving - is not limited to some social classes, or genders, and is more open to everybody. We are all walkers. And there is no digital entry point on our tours - people pay in cash on the day, so again nobody feels excluded if they are not digital natives, or do not have a credit card.
We want the Viennese to believe more in their home town, and support the local economy by staying here longer in summer.
In 2020, the projects were organised under the umbrella of space and place, a Verein, and in 2021-22, they are hosted by the Vienna start-up, Whoosh.wien. All tours are co-led by Eugene Quinn, originally from London.
MA 18 - Stadtentwicklung & Stadtplanung: Led a tour with Eugene Quinn, on taboos.