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“ ‘Live and let live’ was the famous Viennese motto, which today still seems to me to be more humane than all the categorical imperatives, and it maintained itself throughout all classes.”

(The World of Yesterday: Memories of a European, Stefan Zweig)

In Stefan Zweig’s description of Vienna at the start of the 20th century, it was a city where all people lived peaceful (1943). Today Vienna has still ranked the most liveable city eight times in the world (Trend N, 2017). During Easter holiday, I travelled to Vienna in Austria. What deeply inspired me was the nightlife. I will talk about it by the open spaces.

Open spaces for all people

According to the map, the city centre is surrounded by green lands and  the river. And open spaces are distributed in the neighborhoods, which are connected by pedestrian roads. This ensures people walking and gathering at anytime.

Figure 1 : Vienna tourist attraction map, (2017)

As Zweig said, Vienna is a city which gathered all different cultures together then emerged them to become a Viennese culture (1943). It provides several types of places for all people to socialize. For example, there is a great space in front of St. Charles Church. It is a lakeside where people enjoy sitting on the steps around. During daytime, the church attracts a large number of travelers to visit. After a sunset, it is returned to citizens. People sit there to relax and talk, facing the beautiful water reflection of the building.

Figure 2: Sitting in front of St. Charles Church. (Authors own, 2017)

And the open spaces on pedestrian streets is another great idea. When the nights tumble down, it appears some outdoor bars along the street. Red umbrellas keep off the rain as well as supply heating in winter.  Jacobs suggested that stores, bars and restaurants along the streets can keep the safety to some extend and people’s activities on the streets can also attract others (2000). This ensures the safety and vitality of nightlife in Vienna.

Figure 3  : Nightlife of Rotenturmstraße, Vienna. (Authors own, 2017).


Vienna, as an ideal city of art and culture, respects people’s needs regardless of their incomes and religions. It equally provides citizens with public places and ensure their safety. It definitely could be named a liveable city.

Reference list
  1. Jacobs, J. (2000). The death and life of great American cities. London: Pimlico.
  2. Trend, Nick. “What Makes Vienna The World’s Greatest City?”. The Telegraph. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
  3. Zweig, S. (1943). The world of yesterday. London: Cassell.
Image resources

2 responses to “A travel to Vienna: One of the most liveable cities in the world”

  1. Open space is the fundamental element of a city. In order to examine a quality of a city, the quality of the open space should be examine. I been to Vienna before and i totally agree with what peggy said. Vienna is one of the most liveable cities in the world. It has significant amount of blue and green public space that distribute all around the city. What make it outstanding from all other cities around the world is, the public space in Vienna did the job that providing activity after five in the evening. Which a lot of cities in Europe is lacking.

    Beside that, Vienna is successfully act as a melting pot to merge all the different culture together to create a distinctive Viennese culture. It public space act as a catalyst for the process. It is design to accommodate different people’s need. It serve as a tourist attraction in the morning and return to citizen in the evening. Although there is a huge different between crowded morning and peaceful evening, according to my own experience, i think the open space serve both purpose well. It deserve to be called one of the most liveable city in the world.

  2. Peijun Yao speaks about her experience of the Vienna city as a tourist. The cityscapes and spaces enhanced her cultural experience and informed her opinion of the city. Urban public spaces are zones for people to take in their surroundings, enjoy nature, observe society and provide a gathering place for social interaction and events. They enhance the quality of urban environments, promote people exchanges, reminiscent the history and culture arousing people sense of place and identity (Ramlee M. et al, 2015). The significance of a public space can be seen from the perspective of an individual, community or with respect to the city and any public realm forms a zone where people spend time and absorb the city experience regardless of their differences. Further, these public realms can be viewed as locales’ settings that instill a sense of community for a group or a society promoting social interactions and ensuring that the viewer are less isolated (Ramlee M. et al, 2015). In the wider context of a city, these public realms form an important aspect of the environment, culture and economy leading towards enhanced city development and balancing of the city. Thus, the workability of public spaces plays a significant role in the cities with high density development and for places where high footfall of users is observed. Their beautification in the form of iconic architecture, monumental artwork, landscapes and other artistic impressions has repeatedly played a vital role in setting up an image and creating a unique identity of a city of which the tourism industry is an avid consumer. These spaces thus create highly distinctive and celebrated views that form the essence of a city (Terzi C., Tonnelat S., 2017).

    Maimunah Ramlee, dasimah Omar, Rozyah Mohd Yunus, Zalina Samadi, 2015, revitalization of Urban Public spaces: An overview, Social and behavioral sciences, 201, pp. 360-367
    Terzi, Cédric, and Stéphane Tonnelat. “The Publicization Of Public Space”. Environment and Planning A vol.49, no.3, pp: 519-536.

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