Inspiring 2 days of exhausting work. But it was worth it!
The IN SITU Partners took part in the inspiring study visits hosted by the Board of Education of the City of Vienna.
During two days representatives of all Parnters together with their stakeholders had the opportunity to learn from the best practices of social innovation. The first point on our agenda was Sargfabrik. It is an amazing architectural solution oriented on facilitating inclusion of persons who are under threat of being pushed off the margin. Dwelling facilities were designed especially for people with particular needs, for persons with disabilities, providing them with as much living comfort as it is possible. The Sargfabrik and Miss Sargfabrik are owned by the Association for Integrative Lifestyle (VIL), which rents out the seventy-five units — maisonettes with floor areas of 45 sq. m, with the possibility of linking up to six units — modeled as a collective. A range of common areas creates a landscape of communication and pleasure, with a cultural house, restaurant, kindergarten, and twenty-four-hour swimming pool that is also publicly accessible.
The second point of the visit was MUSA – Museum of Vienna where we had an opportunity to learn more about the model of development of social housing in the period between 1918 and 1934, called “Red Vienna”. It was a time when the Social Democrats won the elections and due to high demand for houses, constructed with the municipal means, more than 60000 flats. A fair and just model of distribution of these flats was provided, where people and families with special needs, were granted priority access. The exhibition as extremely interesting, as it also presented the model of financing of this spectacular achievement.
Current times pose new challenges. For a couple of years, we have been witnessing a new problem that must be responded to effectively, i.e. an inflow of immigrants and refugees from different parts of the world, who are trying to find their new home in Europe. As a response to this challenge the social business, namely the hotel was opened. It is oriented towards integration of refugees and immigrants, together with providing them new skills and competences, as well as facilitating them a smooth integration into their new communities. magdas HOTEL is not only a place for a short stay for tourists and businesspersons. It’s something more behind. Beside the environmentally friendly approach demonstrated by the upcycling of equipment (yes, yes – most of the furniture and equipment were given a second life), it gives opportunities to enhance the skills of refugees and immigrants. “mag das” means also “I like it”. We liked it much!