• Austria edition
 
City Branding
Vienna's brand fails to make the grade
Ferris Wheel in Vienna's Prater amusement park. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Vienna's brand fails to make the grade

Published: 09 May 2014 18:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 May 2014 18:57 GMT+02:00

According to The Guardian this week, Saffron Brand Consultants just released their latest barometer of brand opinion, to grade the world's top cities based on a variety of criteria - from "transport and weather to crime and social buzz."  To the surprise of many expats living in Vienna (and a few locals), our adopted city didn't even make the top 25.

Berlin (Vienna's slightly cooler German cousin) checks in at number 25, with its safe streets and excellent infrastructure. From the report, it's not ranked higher because it's slightly sleepy, lacking the buzz of a Chicago (13th) or Dubai (10th.)

Heading south, we find Barcelona in position six. Granted, it's a beautiful city with amazing architecture, cuisine and friendly people - but does it really deserve to be above Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas and San Francisco?

Posting in a local expat message board on Facebook, The Local Austria elicited a storm of opinion, mostly in Vienna's defence, and expressing outrage that it didn't do better than Seoul (5th), Paris (4th) or even London (3rd place) with its terrible weather and ramshackle infrastructure.

While New York and L.A. clearly deserve the top two places, many other cities don't appear to belong in the list at - Mecca being particularly galling in 21st place, since most of us wouldn't even be allowed to visit (unless you're Muslim).  

Fortunately, this is offset by a smidgeon of Schadenfreude at the fact that neither Rome nor Venice made the list at all (although the cocaine capital of Europe, Milan, sneaked in at number 24). 

According to British expat Simon Brooks, "This kind of report goes some way to redressing the balance against people who seem to conflate 'most liveable' with 'best city'. Vienna is certainly a very comfortable place to live but that certainly does not make it a great world city."

Simon Heathcote-Parker feels that Vienna is roughly 50 years behind the times, adding: "Don't get me wrong, I love it and it is one of the reasons I chose to move here but it certainly lacks opportunity and is far too bureaucratic. Everything takes simply ages here."

Steve Read added a thoughtful essay, saying: "There are certain things that cannot be argued - it is old, the buildings are old, the institutions are centuries old - history is the past that we use to build the future on - you cannot ignore or change the past."

Read went on to add that "Vienna is Vienna! I happen to love it... it is the cultural centre of Europe - it has everything London has but on a smaller scale and [within] a narrower area - that means you can walk to ten theatres within 20 minutes instead of two days in London."

Finally, Chris Wells noted that the "only problem with Vienna is a lack of good sandwiches. So I have to make my own. No problem really but I must go to four shops for the ingredients."

Paul Gillingwater (paul.gillingwater@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Billionaire's wedding cake bitten by man
Photo: APA (Gert Eggenberger)

Billionaire's wedding cake bitten by man

Richard Lugner, the controversial Austrian billionaire, is in the news again after the wedding cake for his upcoming nuptials was attacked by an unidentified man at his Lugner City shopping centre. READ  

Department of the obvious
Poll shows Austrians like beer
Photo: APA (epa)

Poll shows Austrians like beer

In news that will surprise almost no-one, a recent poll shows that Austrians really like beer. READ  

Reactions to election of new party leader mixed
Reactions to Reinhold Mitterlehner have been mixed. Photo: APA

Reactions to election of new party leader mixed

With the sudden resignation of conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) leader Michael Spindelegger, the party wasted no time in electing Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner to the position, leading to mixed reactions from the other parties, as well as comments from Austria's president. READ  

The Austrian office you might want to live in
The heri&sally office building in Burgenland. Photo: Paul Ott

The Austrian office you might want to live in

Austrian architects heri&sally have designed a new office in Burgenland which focuses on quality of life for employees - including a climbing wall, swimming pool, kitchen, and garden. READ  

Austrian Post van robbery was faked
Police released this image of the suspect. Photo: APA/Police

Austrian Post van robbery was faked

The driver of an Austrian Post cash delivery van, who reported being robbed and handcuffed in his vehicle in Vienna earlier in August faked the robbery together with an ex-boyfriend, police have said. READ  

Vienna man shot and injured in drugs dispute
Police sign. Photo: APA

Vienna man shot and injured in drugs dispute

A man was shot and injured in a drugs dispute in the stairwell of a Vienna apartment block on Wednesday morning. READ  

Right-wing FPÖ tops Austrian election poll
Heinz-Christian Strache's FPÖ party had the most support. Photo: APA/Schlager

Right-wing FPÖ tops Austrian election poll

If national elections were held in Austria now, the opposition right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) would be in first place. This was according to a poll by the 'market institute', published in the online edition of the newspaper Der Standard on Tuesday. READ  

Austrian mountain biker killed in Switzerland
File Photo: Andy Armstrong

Austrian mountain biker killed in Switzerland

A 57-year-old Austrian was killed in an accident while mountain biking in Switzerland on Tuesday. READ  

More Austrians opt for marriage
A couple at sunset. File photo: APA/dpa

More Austrians opt for marriage

Marriage is becoming more popular in Austria - with an increase of 6.5 percent of couples deciding to tie the knot in the first half of this year. READ  

People's Party select Mitterlehner as leader
Reinhold Mitterlehner has been selected as new leader of the ÖVP. Photo: APA

People's Party select Mitterlehner as leader

Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner is Austria's new vice chancellor and the leader of the conservative People's Party (ÖVP). READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
The Austrian office with a climbing wall and swimming pool
National
Six top tips to get a job in Austria
National
Danielle Spera on the mission of the Jewish Museum Vienna
National
Why Vienna is a 'hub for European jihadists'
Gallery
Horses rescued from burning barn
National
Why beggars are a problem for Vienna's street paper Augustin
Culture
'No one speak English to him!'
Sponsored Article
Gymboree - where playing and learning go hand in hand
National
The grassroots group working to unite Muslims and Jews
Society
Pink Lake festival attracts LGBT visitors
Gallery
Weirdest spa treatments: Fancy a session of full-body cryotherapy?
Society
The question of begging in Austria
National
Naked cyclist faces charges and told to wear clothes
International
Cop surrounded; busts a few moves
Society
Church porn star faces charges
Tech
Austrian student launches class-action lawsuit against Facebook
Politics
Parliamentary speaker Prammer loses fight with cancer
National
Why Vienna is the capital of choice for spies
Society
Happy birthday, Arnie
Gallery
Pizzeria anarchists block traffic in street march
International
Centenary of Austria's declaration of war on Serbia
National
Eight cheap things to do in Vienna this summer
Features
'I came for a boy and stayed for the lifestyle'
Society
The Local's carnivore goes vegan
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

279
jobs available