Jane Jacobs is the American urbanist who inspired Eugene Quinn to explore Vienna. She campaigned hard for community, and against cars. She explored what makes for good streetlife, and why some districts are so much more fun and social than others. Please read her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. On her birthday weekend every year, groups around the world lead walks to start debates and get to know their neighbourhood better.
We find there should be more dialogue between the universities of this city, and the wider population, but also between the different colleges. So we will walk right across Vienna, from WU to the Music and Performance Uni in Landstrasse, then Angewandte, MUK, TU and NIG (from Uni Wien). They are sometimes spectacular, sometimes ugly, but always interesting. And one more will be added between now and May the 4th. But which one? Please tell us about your favourite experiences in these interesting spaces, so we can add a cool sixth location.
Since Eugene regularly works with many of these institutions, it is a voyage of discovery, to also learn what the students he teaches, eat. And what choices they face in the canteens. How much is lunch? The primary function of a student canteen is often not what it seems to be. And after two years of pandemic, they have taken on a new significance, as places of informal exchange, joy and gossip.
And this is an interesting moment to visit various campuses, since the students are electing their union leaders, with unusual campaigns to attract attention. The teaching staff have been protesting for years now about unfair contracts, which force them to leave Austria after eight years, to continue their research.
While most Jane's Walks focus on a Graetzl, we will do the opposite. We will drift between isolated communities, and seek to build bridges.
One-in-ten Viennese is a student, which is a very high number. One third of them come from outside of Austria, like Eugene. Why do they choose to study here, and why do so many stay on after graduation? Which language are the courses delivered in, and how did the students come to understand so much German? What are the differences and rivalries between the 19 Vienna universities?
2023 marks the eighth year where Whoosh (previously space and place) lead a tour for Jane's Walk Vienna. We thank Andreas Lindinger for all his hard work across those years and beyond.
Walk Leader: Eugene Quinn
(Hotline for latecomers: 0680/1254354)