A view of the theatre and the House of Music, as well as the corner of the Museum Hofburg in the reflection

Kulturquartier: the future inner-city jewel of Innsbruck

Kulturquartier: the future inner-city jewel of Innsbruck

The need for open, free public spaces was made clear by the pandemic and the city is answering accordingly

On Monday, the city of Innsbruck presented their plan for the creation of Kulturquartier – a cultural district nestled between the Landestheater and the Haus der Musik. The open space will include greenery and mixed-use streets, as well as urban furniture and a fountain.

This decision is provoked by the aftermath of the pandemic, which proved the necessity for open public spaces, especially for young people in the city. Construction is scheduled to start in spring 2022, with the redevelopment set to be completed in summer 2022.

A city needs consumption free zones

The creation of consumption free zones is a novel concept, emerging from the pandemic, with a lot of cities thinking about the creation of public spaces where you do not need to participate as a consumer. This has largely been prompted by the social distancing measures and restrictions to bars and restaurants, leading to people taking back the streets, using them as gathering spaces.

The city of Innsbruck is rather quick in the adoption of the concept, with Kulturquartier set to overtake the heart of town, around Universitätsstraße, the local theatre, the House of Music, the Folk Art Museum, the Jesuit Church and the University, becoming an inner-city jewel.

The grey areas on the old town side show the cobblestone area, while the beige
area will be paved with large concrete slabs,

Source: © Office for Civil Engineering / City of Innsbruck

The establishment of a temporary pedestrian zone will be enabled by retractable bollards, allowing the space to be used for events or families taking casual car-free walks in the afternoon as City Councillor for Economic Affairs, Christine Oppitz-Plörer stated in a press release.

The cultural quarter is said to cost 5.2 million euros, with up to 45% covered by a federal investment program. The first steps towards redevelopment will start in October, with the laying of cables and the actual work starting in spring 2022. The inauguration of the new Kulturquartier is set for next summer.

Mayor Georg Willi added: “Thanks to the favourable financial situation in the 2020 budget year and the rapid completion of the old town construction site, a time window has opened up that we are now using to bring forward this project, which is extremely important for inner-city development.

A new inner-city jewel is emerging on the border with the old town, creating attractive opportunities for a more vibrant urban life.”

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