4th station - June 11 until end of October, 2021


In the SEESTADT ASPERN, Vienna's new urban district, public spaces are a central component. Therefore, the Seestadt is particularly suited to the question of how public spaces can offer a new quality of life as CO HABITAT, not only because they bind greenhouse gases, particulate matter and pollutants to a high degree, but also because a common habitat consisting of biodiverse plant communities with as many living creatures as possible offers a complementary option to the cleared, species-poor urban green spaces.

Large-scale planning was done for the new district. Many buildings are already inhabited, and new building areas divided into grids vibrate with color and continually transform themselves. Some of these grids are cultivated, others are populated by wildflowers. A juxtaposition of newly planned green spaces and many temporary biodiverse vegetation spaces lets us revisit the question at this site of how we can allow public spaces to emerge as a CO HABITAT - a biodiverse vegetation space that allows habitat for "all" living things, including the antrophogenic, on an equal footing - i.e. a SUPER COHABITAT, or integrate it into existing public spaces and green spaces. Various microhabitats on roadsides, field edges, public green spaces to balcony flowers, vegetable garden designs, parts of the Edible Seestadt, etc. allow these habitats to be understood as a SUPER COHABITAT and united into a network of biodiverse habitats.

From the U2 station Seestadt Aspern to the temporary art intervention STEPPENSTEG one can start an informative and with the eyes of field researchers walk, which begins with the exhibition FRAUEN BAUEN STADT, then following the line of the subway to the street "Sonnenalle", which stands for the guiding idea "the way is the goal" and for pedestrian friendly city.

This street, which invites you to stroll in the middle, the artist advises after walking up and down the middle of the street to stroll along the small path next to the street, which has a particularly interesting and varied wild plant flora along the road and field edges.

After studying Local Biodiversity of the Sun Alley roadside, you/they arrive at the end of this wild plant flora at Marie Trapp Square, which is landscaped with fine details. Discovering these details and humming or singing parts of Sound of Music, one reaches Hannah Arendt Platz.

This public space is an open meeting space divided into different functions, a green living room, play zone, green center, infiltration basin for rainwater, etc. ... and its structure of rings allows to study current aspects of the design of public spaces. From the Hannah Arendt Park, an extensively managed vegetation zone with tall grasses and wildflowers can be seen, next to which Vienna's largest community gardens are located, in Madame d'Ora Park. Behind it on the rampart this time is located STEPPENSTEG, from which the view can sweep over the community gardens, a refuge of biodiverse vegetation, parts of Hannah Arendts Park and the Seestadt campus.

Following the LIZ CHRISTY path from STEPPENSTEG, various info offers and place designs in Seestadt, including a public compost heap as a breakthrough in public space achieved through much commitment, can be experienced.

This project spans its field of content this time between Hannah Arendt's THINKING WITHOUT LANDS, Liz Christy's COMMUNITY GARDENS and GREEN GORRILLAS, Madame d`Ora's artistic photography and the current exhibition " FRAUEN BAUEN STADT". All these positions can be illuminated and thought about with a new perspective on the question of how public spaces can be developed as CO HABITATES.

Hannah Arendt, political theorist, writes about a freedom that is defined by participating in social processes, having one's own political voice, the question of whether we simply have freedom, it can be given to us and taken away. (cf. "The Freedom to Be Free"). In her analysis of totalitarianism, especially National Socialism, Eichmann trial and the possibility of resistance or at least doing nothing,she writes in a letter: "What is at issue here are the arguments they used to justify themselves to themselves and to others. It is on these arguments that we are entitled to judge. These people were not under the direct pressure of terror either, only the indirect one. I know about the differences of degree in these things. There was still a space of free decision and free action." (Quoted p.35, in "Hannah Arendt, Ich will verstehen. Selbstauskünfte zu Leben und Werk." Piper Verlag, 5th edition 2013) Madama d'Ora, created photographic portraits of the Viennese artistic and intellectual scene and later continued to work in Paris as a society, fashion, and artist photographer. She returned to Vienna after the war, photographing destroyed Vienna, refugee camps, and later a slaughterhouse series. At the end of this station in the Seestadt, a panel discussion will be held to investigate her life and work." Piper Verlag, 5th edition 2013)

Madama d'Ora, created photographic portraits of the Viennese artistic and intellectual scene and later continued to work in Paris as a society, fashion, and artist photographer. She returned to Vienna after the war, photographing destroyed Vienna, refugee camps, and later a slaughterhouse series.

Dialogue tour with Katarina Rimanoczy, Project Essbare Seestadt The research project Essbare Seestadt
was The research project Essbare Seestadt co-founded by Katarina Rimanoczy, a resident of the Seestadt. In consultation with responsible persons and together with many residents she has come closer to the desire of a lively and natural district and has also initiated a Liz Christy path. Liz Christy was a seed bombs throwing Green Guerrilla activist who in 1973 in New York City, along with other dedicated city residents*, removed months of trash from a brownfield site and created one of the first COMMUNITY GARDENS from it. The subversive greening method and space appropriation for community gardens have become a successful model for neighborhood communities and care close to home today.

Artist's position by Irene and Christine Hohenbüchler
Right outside the front door, a hedgehog can run across the path, as long as it finds dense shrub groups and near-natural green space. The garden of Irene and Christine Hohenbüchler is life-friendly and therefore also a possible habitat for hedgehogs. In the course of the project, the two artists built a small village of hedgehog houses, which can provide hedgehogs with a protected nest and hibernation. Approaching other living things is a challenge. How much do we actually understand about the living world of hedgehogs present in "our" environment? How can we imagine what they need? Do we have any idea of how much stress they have to cope with in the struggle for survival due to the dwindling habitat and the lack of food due to insect mortality? The few existing shrubs in the green spaces are shaped, formed, foliage removed according to our anthropogenic needs. To give hedgehogs back a chance to survive, a replacement structure is a possible transitional option, such as small houses with specific design. They can be helpful as a stop-gap until green space planning allows niches for species-rich habitats. In an observational, learning process and exchange between Christine and Irene Hohenbüchler, Gabriele Sturm and some hedgehogs, the difficulty of providing a replacement structure became clear. How much would one have to know and understand of a highly complex system in order to be able to expand one's own imaginary world with a new form of world perception? That would be for a SUPER COHABITAT a form of approach to a jointly animated space.

At the end of this station in the Urban Lakeside, a panel discussion will be held to discuss the experiences of the 4 stations and the possibilities of a change of species-poor public urban spaces and a different relationship of us to our environment.