[Marxism] Social Democracy and Public Housing in Vienna

Alan Bradley alanb1000 at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 17 18:52:21 MDT 2013

From: Red Arnie 
> About 60% of the Viennese population lives in municipally built, owned, or managed housing. 

To me, this kind of thing is a reminder of how much Australian cities differ from their European counterparts.

While both Sydney and Melbourne have high-rise public housing, the main variety here is low density suburban housing - a variation on the suburban sprawl that most Australians (working class or other) inhabit.

While there has always been such sprawl, it really got going after 1945, with the previous inner city working class communities being decimated at the same time as Australia's population boomed. (It's more than tripled since 1945).

The overwhelming majority of the housing that resulted is privately owned by its occupants, or rented out. Public housing is a secondary phenomena, and the stock of such housing is naturally inadequate.

Personally, high rise housing gives me the horrors. I like my patch of sprawl. But there's no doubt that high rise is the way to go ecologically. The major Australian cities are already occupying areas the size of small countries, especially when their neighbouring satellite areas are factored in. This requires additional transport and other infrastructure, and much of the land on which they were built was originally prime farmland.

This sprawl needs to be halted. Of course this needs to be done in a way that doesn't condemn the working class to a life locked up like battery hens in grey concrete boxes.

Perhaps the Viennese experience provides insights into useful alternatives to this.

There are some photos here: http://archpaper.com/news/articles.asp?id=6205

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