Franz Welser-Möst: Stop covering my country in concrete

The Austrian conductor has joined a national campaign to stop green fields being turned into development sites. Every day, 20 green acres are being lost.

‘The culture of Austria – the music, the Salzburg Festival – is valued and loved all over the world,’ says Franz, ‘but also the beautiful landscape’

‘Don’t bother talking about culture again if you destroy the culture of your own life and living space,’ said his ally, the actor Tobias Moretti.



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  • Amen! I know people have to live and work somewhere, but there’s so much concrete all over the world. Go up, or down. It’s cheaper to pave over land, but the cost to nature is too high.

  • True. I always thought if Ottomans were successful in capturing Vienna and the rest of the region, that country would have been a shabby concrete jungle now. Austrians should preserve the natural beauty of their country.

  • Agreed. In a time where Aesthetics are clearly left out to dry by ruthless, cost-efficient industrialism, these words are most welcome.

    If some major changes are made, the few remaining Meccas where we may all take our pilgrimages will cease to exist. But at least we’ll have 87 new McDonald’s, Walmarts, and IKEAS…

    • True. That’s why “Vienna” and “Salzburg” are called “cities”, if you want to look it up. Plenty of concrete and other building material in cities. He, however, is talking about “landscape”. He actually used that word, so you can look it up as well. It might give you an idea what he’s talking about. Namely, killing the natural beauty of nature by putting ski resort after ski resort, hotel after hotel into it. See, that wasn’t too difficult, right?

  • Why not? The good Austrian folk have turned the greatest musician/composer of all time into a chocolate salesman, so is this a surprise?

  • It’s also the same in Lichtenstein. I visited there seven years ago. I thought that the scenery would be so beautiful., like the front of a chocolate box. However I got a rude awakening. There are so many concrete monstrosities being built like nuclear bunkers. Firstly bells that the cows had whilst grazing on the hills were removed, then the cows were and then the builders came in. There doesn’t appear to be any building regulation. The Architectural style is so varied if you can call it that.

  • In the U.S., we are losing 2 acres of prime farmland every MINUTE to development! And that’s just the superior farm land, not all acreage. It’s not just the beauty or the food that is lost, either, but many other features that benefit humans. It’s a world-wide problem of poorly thought-out planning.

    • On the bright side, when humanity is extinct (whether centuries or millions of years), weeds will erode the concrete surprisingly quickly and make room for other plants to refashion the landscape.

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