An opportunity to build stronger relationships within the community
Within the scope of Into the City project, which took place during Vienna Festival Week, we carried out an installation called Wünsch dir was – Make a Wish. Our aim was to make a list of wishes of local residents that are concerned with public space, and to hand that list over to the district authorities (Bezirksvorsteung).
In the central square of the fifth Viennese district, Siebenbrunnenplatz, we placed a 150 m2 large carpet that represented the map of the district, more precisely, of the square and its vicinity. We invited passers-by to make a whish and place it to the carpet with a balloon. With the number of wishes the number of balloons grew, and residents were able to observe how many more wishes there are each day.
The response was incredibly positive. Already on the day of the opening, children used the carpet as their playground, while their parents sat down to play with them. Without any warning from our end, people took their shoes off before stepping on the carpet. The map became a gathering place for visitors and residents. Children were chasing balloons and the parents talked to us about the environment they live in. Some children even participated with handing out flyers, tying the balloons or helped with putting the installation away.
The square became a meeting space for dialogue and conversation about public space in Margareten district. In one week we gathered almost 400 wishes. The amount of positivity as well as the specifics of wishes were a pleasant surprise.
On the last day of the project, the head of the district (Bezirksvorsteher) chose one wish from the list that was about to come true: a drinking fountain in the middle of the square. The wish was related to the district’s history – the district was the site of the first water supply network for the whole city of Vienna.
With this project we proved that constructive suggestions of residents can be gathered in a short amount of time and in a playful way. Furthermore, we showed the residents that they can be included in the spatial planning process of the environment that they live in.
We later recreated a similar project in Ljubljana: Map of Wishes.