Neighborhood Improvement Initiative
Space will soon be cleared for construction of The Blend. Shortly before the former dilapidated property was demolished, we asked District Chairman Marcus Franz about the future of the entire neighborhood. Our conversation explored ways to combine the old and the new.
Mr. Franz, Favoriten is developing dynamically. What has to be taken into consideration when planning this development?
Marcus Franz: The IBA Vienna 2022—the International Building Exhibition—will be held next year. Several projects have already been implemented in Favoriten. One of the goals is to develop future-oriented solutions for existing built areas as well as for new structures. The primary focus is on projects that strengthen social cohesion, something we have a strong tradition of in Favoriten, and something that will continue to be important in the future. Favoriten is steadily becoming a more livable district and is developing into a desirable spot for young families.
What do you attribute that to?
is a great example of one. If the project is completed as planned, the whole neighborhood will benefit—through lively ground floor areas, for example, office spaces, a childcare facility, or a new health care provider.
The demolition of the properties where The Blend will be built is set to start in June 2021. What does the demolition contribute to the spirit of optimism in the neighborhood?
Marcus Franz: The Neue Landgut is being built in the area north of Landgutgasse and includes the third education campus in Favoriten, for 1,300 pupils, new subsidized housing, a one-hectare park, offices, a café, a music school, a library, a sports field that can be used by everyone, and much more. Quellenplatz, the square to the south of the project, is also being redesigned. This is all happening as part of the WieNeu+urban development program, which aims to make this area, home to 35,000 people, climate friendly and ready for the future. Contributing dynamically means creating added value for the neighborhood. In terms of infrastructure, the district is perfectly located thanks to its proximity to the pedestrian zone and the Keplerplatz subway station.
You mentioned having a good collaboration with The Blend project. How did that come about?
Marcus Franz: Right when planning first began, AVORIS started engaging everybody involved in a dialogue that was professional and on equal footing. Ever since, there has been regular communication and updates. This creates a role model for other projects. Because it’s important that projects not only bring added value for the immediate residents, but also beyond—for example, by creating public infrastructure for doctors, grocery stores, shops, and educational institutions. This makes daily travel distances shorter, saving time and resources and creating a better quality of life.
You have been immortalized in graffiti. Do the tattoos in the graffiti have a message?
Marcus Franz: That the 10th is a district worth living in and that I have Favoriten in my heart.
Thank you for the conversation.
District Chairman Marcus Franz in 30 seconds
If Favoriten were a town, Marcus Franz would be the mayor of Austria’s third largest city. Around 210,000 people live in Favoriten, and only Vienna and Graz have more inhabitants. Marcus was born in 1972 in Favoriten, where he also graduated from elementary and high school. The trained wholesale businessman has been chairman of the 10th district since 2017. During the 2020 election campaign, Marcus caused a great sensation by having a huge graffiti depicting himself as “Mundl” Sackbauer—tattoos and all—painted on a building wall. “The tattoos and other subtle clues all point to one thing: That the 10th district is one worth living in and that I have Favoriten deep in my heart,” says Marcus.