New Regulations in Vienna: Year-round Outdoor Cafés and Green Parklets

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: September 10, 2023; 23:34 ♦ (Vindobona)

In an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Vienna has adopted new regulations for catering establishments and public lounges. Both Schanigärten (Viennese Outdoor Cafés) and the green parklets known as "Grätzloasen" are now allowed to remain in public spaces all year round.

City Councilor Peter Hanke (r.) and WKW President Walter Ruck (l.) presenting the extension of the outdoor cafés in Vienna. / Picture: © Magistrat der Stadt Wien / PID / David Bohmann

Since 2020, catering establishments have been able to operate summer canteens in winter due to the pandemic. The new Schanigarten regulation, which was developed in consultation with the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (WKW), simplifies processes for restaurateurs and reduces the city's administrative burden. Schanigärten may now be operated year-round under stricter regulations and increased control options for the authorities.

One focus is on the personal responsibility of the restaurateurs for the orderly behavior of their guests. Peter Hanke, City Councillor for Finance and Economic Affairs, and Walter Ruck, President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, welcomed these changes as a positive step for the catering industry and the city.

In parallel, a year-round regulation was worked out for the popular Green Parklets, publicly accessible and leafy lounging areas. Until 2020, these were only allowed from March to November and had to be removed over the winter. The new regulation offers residents* the opportunity to interact with their neighborhood year-round and is proving very popular, as evidenced by the 91 Green Parklets in implementation for 2023.

Climate City Councilor Jürgen Czernohorszky and Sabrina Halkic, Executive Director of Local Agenda 21 Vienna, emphasize the benefits of the year-round scheme, from sustainable planting to lower costs and reduced administrative burden.

City of Vienna