A street scene in Vienna, Austria.

As Vienna waltzes toward its goal of carbon neutrality by 2040, the city is laying the groundwork for a more car-free future. In 2023, the Austrian capital will add more bike paths to its 1,000-mile-plus cycling network. Vienna’s first “cycle highway” will near completion in 2023, connecting the city center to the park-filled 22nd district. The fast-growing neighborhood is home to one of Europe’s largest urban-development projects, Aspern Seestadt, a smart city-within-a-city where the majority of the streets have been named after women and 80% of residents travel by bike, foot, or public transit. To meet the demand, a new bike-rental system, WienMobil Rad, launched in 2022 with 240 (and counting) locations.

With green space making up half of the city, it’s easy to see why Vienna was named the world’s most livable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index 2022. And 2023 is shaping up to be an even bigger year: the World’s Fair turns 150; the Baroque landmark and museum, the Belvedere, celebrates its 300th anniversary; and the Wien Museum in Karlsplatz will reopen after a major remodel. Stay in Central Europe’s first Rosewood hotel, opened last year in a 19th century neoclassical building on Petersplatz, one of the most storied squares in Vienna’s Old Town.

Vienna’s first food hall, Gleisgarten, will open in May in a former train depot in the 12th district. And in November, street market Kutschkermarkt will unveil a climate-friendly revitalization with cycling paths, car-free zones, and more trees. Near leafy Stadtpark, the Molcho family (famous for their Israeli restaurant, NENI) debuted C.O.P. – Collection of Produce, a new farm-to-table culinary concept, in December 2022. But the most surprising place to sample sustainable Austrian cuisine might be the city’s freshly renovated parliament building, which in January welcomed Kelsen—an eatery boasting previously unseen views of Vienna.

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