Mach Dich Breit! (Spread Out!)
We are an interdisciplinary team of social design students working in and on Vienna. Sourcing from our backgrounds in landscape architecture and political science, we make interventions in the public space that bring up topics of resource justice, approaches to future urban crises, and the exercise of the right to the city. Currently, our core interest lies in the intersection of public health and social justice, which we approach through a focus on freely available green public spaces.
Urban areas around the world are currently experiencing two trends: they are becoming hotter and more densely populated. With migration to cities, public resources are being shared among more urban dwellers, while the sealing caused by construction and traffic areas is adversely affecting urban climatic conditions.
In Vienna, especially the inner city districts have an extremely high sealing rate. For example, the percentage of green spaces in the district of Neubau is 2.2%, and in Josefstadt it is as low as 1.8%. Unsealed areas, access to places free of consumption constraints and open zones are fundamental and indispensable for physical and mental health in our hotter and more crowded cities.
Mach Dich Breit! is an initiative that encourages the citizens of Vienna to exercise their right to the city. Through minimal interventions, we want to change the perception of urban space and make possible uses visible. To this end, we playfully declare interstitial spaces as public parks; open spaces that invite recreation without the need to consume.
We choose places in densely populated neighborhoods, e.g. in Josefstadt and Neubau, and invite the neighbors and passers-by to the openings. In some places random bits of green are present and used for the intervention, in others we emphasize the complete lack thereof by laying out an artificial grass carpet With free drinks, snacks and activities we want to encourage interaction and create a space for imagination.