Linz is a city with stellar cultural heritage that gives a nod to the future. A member of the UNESCO Creative Cities (UCCN) network as a City of Media Arts and a former European Capital of Culture, Linz has embraced smart measures and creativity to ensure that this cultural landmark remains a twenty-first century destination.
Art isn’t just confined to galleries
Linz boasts 43 galleries and exhibition rooms and 13 cultural centres, the most prestigious of which are located on the Kulturmeile (culture mile), a popular route for tourists that traces the bending Donau river. Whilst these spaces boast world-class collections, art in Linz isn’t just confined to galleries. Innovative formats such as Höhenrausch (loosely translated as “high jinks”), an art exhibition on the rooftops, are typical of the city’s creative approach. In addition to the art on display, Höhenrausch visitors will also be able to glimpse signs of Linz’s impressive industrial heritage, in the form of the factory chimneys that pierce the city’s skyline. Linzers are conscious of incorporating this aspect of history into the city’s cultural repertoire: the Voestalpine Stahlwelt museum pays homage to the steel industry that has been the backbone of Linz’s economy for almost a century; the Tabakfabrik is now a hub for the creative industry and the Mural Harbour is an industrial port turned blank canvas for graffiti artists from around the world.
Setting a smart example
These cultural attractions are kept up to date with an enterprising approach to technology and a willingness to act as an example to other smart destinations. Ars Electronica, the world’s leading festival for digital art has been taking place in Linz since 1979 and the annual Klangwolke, in which the Danube park is transformed into an open air musical arena, demonstrates how cities can enhance open spaces. Linz is also a forerunner in open data. The Open Commons Linz initiative has been offering a wide range of free data since 2009, helping not only increase the transparency of political and administrative processes, but also improving services for tourists. 202 hotspots also ensure that wherever you are in Linz, you’re not far away from a free Wi-Fi connection.