The Gürtel in Vienna is a beltway that divides the inner districts from the outer districts and moves almost like a belt around the city. This was once the closest thing Vienna had to a Red Light District, but the introduction of the 2011 prostitution laws that banned street prostitution in the area changed that entirely. Now, there are plans about another reconstruction of the Gürtel that have been brought to the public’s eye. The area was revitalized 20 years ago, but people feel that it needs further architectural development. According to our sources, Maria Vassilakou, Executive City Councilor proposed the Gürtel area reconstruction plans, where more space would be made available for the public, rather than only for the nightlife.
People’s feelings about the reconstruction plans
The previous architect who did the reconstruction 20 years ago said that he is not satisfied with the Gürtel’s current state. When asked about the Gürtel, Silja Tillner responded by saying: “If I do something, then I have to take care of it. And I am quite sad when I pass by here and see that this care is missing”. Hannes Swoboda from SPÖ, as well as other council members who supported the “Gürtel Plus” project feel that a renewal of the area is necessary. Local owners, such as Peter Rantasa from the “Rhiz” stated that: “Ten years ago, this was exclusively positive, in the meantime, other dynamics have emerged, the entire social life has become more conflicted.”
Gürtel reconstruction effects on the sex business
The Gürtel has had a long history of being a sex mile, with street prostitution also being a thing up until 2011. Street prostitutes were mostly active in side-streets, with the two main ones being Felberstraße and Äußere Mariahilferstraße. Club 28, which has closed since then was also located on Felberstraße. Read our breaking news article on Club 28 being closed if you want to learn more. There are still sex clubs and studios along the Beltway, but some fear that the reconstruction might have a detrimental effect on the sex business in the area.
At its current state, these are just plans and nothing has been approved yet. According to Maria Vassilakou, there should first be discussions about the project, as there’s no concrete plan for it yet. In my opinion, with what may be coming, the Gürtel will never be what it once was, but maybe it is all for the better. We will keep our readers up-to-date as soon as new information becomes available. If you want to discuss the topic, join the thread we found on the Sex-Vienna forum about it.