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Students Built a 'Concrete City' to Protest the Government

Forgoing the usual protest signs and riots, a group of college students in Vienna, Austria came up with a more innovative way to challenge what they believe is the government's way-too-cozy relationship with the financial sector. Outraged that the government is spending $24B to bail out the local bank Hypo Alpe Adria, the students, hailing from the architecture, urban planning, civil engineering, and computer science departments at the Technical University of Vienna, spent four months constructing a 1:100-scale model city to demonstrate just how much housing and infrastructure could be built with all that money.

The team calculated that for what the government is spending on the bank, they can build over 70,000 single-family homes, which could reasonably house well over 100,000 people. Then, using donated concrete blocks to represent buildings and painted wooden boards as roads and greenery, they installed Hypotopia (a mixture of the bank's name and "utopia") right in the center of Vienna's Karlsplatz Square. This 19-day "architectural protest" culminated in a final demonstration on Oct. 30, after which participants used wheelbarrows and shopping carts to transport 50,000 pounds of concrete blocks all the way to the city's parliament building.

· Austrians protest government spending with concrete model city [Dezeen]
· All Protests posts [Curbed National]