What they should keep

With only one match left to take place in the “Wörthersee Arena” here in Klagenfurt, the regional government and the municipality of Klagenfurt should ask themselves what was “good” and what was “bad”, what they should see as a chance to further develop and evolve Klagenfurt. Geographically Klagenfurt holds every asset in becoming a regional urban centre (great nature, traffic connections to the whole region of Alp-Adria, a growing University, etc.), if only there would be some challenges taken on.

Public transportation and pedestrians

While the fan zones on “Neuer Platz” are quite empty when there is no match in Klagenfurt, most of the people, even if they have never been football fans enjoy a car-free downtown. Busses have been moved out of the “Ring” as well as have been private cars. The idea of making the busses cycle around the “Ring” instead of squeezing them through the all too narrow historical downtown area is a charming one. With all the bus lines making at least one tour around the “Ring” before leaving for more remote stopping points people are given quite new possibilities as all the areas of downtown are suddenly reachable by bus within minutes. And … you can use almost every line. 

The only thing the Stadtwerke and the municipality would have to do is to re-organize all of the bus lines to take advantage of this new system, so that you don’t have to drive around for well over an hour if you would like to reach e.g. “CineCity” in the east of Klagenfurt. With some direct routes to the new evolving focus areas of Klagenfurt in the west (Wörthersee, University, Lakeside Science & Technology Park), the north (Businesspark Schleppekurve) and the east (CineCity, Metro and of course Ikea) and a small but cost-effective set of accompanying routes to the open up all the districts of Klagenfurt public transportation in Klagenfurt could become far more attractive than today. Like a recent study shows ((“Wörthersee, Regionalbahn mit Zukunft“)), private car owners are more likely to switch to public transportation if they don’t have the feeling of being ancillary to the needs of the masses. So it seems quite logical that the Stadtwerke should primarily serve the more “attractive” stopping points (University, Schleppekurve, etc.) and accompany this new network of bus routes with an efficient web of feeding lines which in fact never leave their respective district.

  • Relative cost advantage: +1
  • Likelihood of implementation: 20% – 40%

A great stadium

As most of you know, the “Wörthersee Arena” is planned to be build back to accommodate only 17.500 people as opposed to the whopping 35.000 it may host at the moment. The Euro 2008 showed that there are ways to handle this number of people. Economically building back the stadium would even boost running costs in terms of interests and depreciation. So there is no “real” advantage in doing so, if the only argument for building it back is to save costs. In contrary hosting major events like pop-concerts or (I don’t even want to think about it) something like “Rock am Ring” or “Rock im Park” called “Rock am See” and hosted by MTV (imagine that!) could further strengthen Klagenfurt’s still fragile and weak position as a cultural and urban centre of the Alp-Adria region. This could result in major profit margins when thinking about savings by indirect returns.

  • Relative cost advantage: +1
  • Likelihood of implementation: 80% – 90%

Alternative culture

Klagenfurt as the regional capital of Carinthia should as well take on its responsibility in terms of cultural progression. Without a doubt there should be taken greater affords to further develop the cultural scene in Klagenfurt by building new event areas and new museums. While this would be expensive and could only be profitable on a long-term perspective, strengthening the independent a alternative cultural scene and supporting merely autonomous initiatives like “Lendhauer” or “Lendspiel” could have an even more charming result and would not be too cost-intensive. The scene organises itself without any need for public regulation. Artists and alternative people of Klagenfurt have been seeing the Lendhafen as cultural and subversive seed since years. But only now do they have a chance to further emphasise on this roots in an almost revolutionary and open way. The infrastructure is already there (like cafés and a great open-air event area which only waits to be used). The alternative cultural scene could give the cultural development of Klagenfurt a whole new direction being minimally supported by public funds and public-private partnerships instead of being famished to death by ignorant politicians.

  • Relative cost advantage: +1
  • Likelihood of implementation: 50% – 60%

Be open-minded!

The above propositions rely on one simple advice for regional politicians as well as the inhabitants of Klagenfurt: be open-minded, be brave and don’t hesitate to re-think the status-quo. If public reception of Klagenfurt’s values change, if people could realize what historic chance is given to them, they could easily ensure Klagenfurt’s positive and influential development to new urbanity and altered attractiveness.

 

Socialize this