Editor's Letter

Is Vienna Smart?

Define smart

Editor's Letter
Photo: Michèle Pauty

It’s hard to grumble in Vienna. Public transportation runs on time, a woman can safely walk home at night, the cycling paths make sense, there are parks and play-grounds within walking distance and if you lose something, chances are you’ll get it back. As a New Yorker, I laugh when people use the word “traffic” to describe mild congestion on the Gürtel and while the city sleeps on Sundays, on weekdays, everything from a bakery to a tailor is just around the corner. In short, there is a lot to love about this town.

So is being a livable city the same thing as being “smart”? When other cities smarten up, they invest in safety measures, traffic solutions and commercial infrastructure for citizens. But Vienna already does all that.

So just what is this hubbub about “Smart City Vienna,” and where is all this “smart” visible to the eye? We have looked into everything from A, as in Amazon Echo’s Alexa to Z, as in the Zweigelt grown in Vienna’s quality-of-life-securing vineyards. Don’t miss our Melange, where we speak to Energy Entrepreneur and Austria’s First Lady, Eveline Steinberger-Kern. Our Quotes, Stats & Numbers (p 12) give an overview of the city’s tech, e-mobility and ecological smarts. In our cover story, we look into how Vienna sees the path to becoming a “smarter” city and improving quality of life.

We’ve profiled key figures in education, administration, WiFi infrastructure and smart city activism and we got the inside scoop on the plans for central Europe’s own Hyperloop. We give you a guide on how to be a smarter citizen in Vienna today and also look into the makings of a citizen participation platform called UrbanSync. Get a full understanding of the Vienna context in our review of Smart Urbanism, a new collection of essays by Austrian and international scholars on urban development ideas and practice.

Vienna is not known for making change easy, so in our City Life feature we asked why. And as always, we’ve curated Vienna’s events and goings-on this September for non-German speakers and internationally minded Viennese.

But don’t miss the big news! We’ve added a whole new lifestyle section, with a mind-blowing fashion spread, and a fantastic selection of smart Equipment & Embellishments. We have also added sports pages, highlighting the Austrian polo scene this summer.

Tell us what you think. We’d love to hear your comments on our new content, and anything else that’s on your mind. And remember no matter how smart this city gets, keep it real and

don’t be a stranger,





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