Plenary Speaker

Fred & Susie Bondi

Fred & Susie Bondi

Walking enthusiasts

Austria

Fred had to leave Austria in 1938 at the age of 15, due to his Jewish heritage. Nonetheless, Fred has been lucky all his life. He moved to the United States, where he was an excellent student, received a scholarship from Cornell University and graduated as an engineer. Fred has always been a city boy. He lived in Paris from 1951 until 2008, when he had to make a decision, as getting old in Paris was not so easy: There were few escalators or elevators in the subways which were overcrowded, traffic was difficult and he was mugged a few times. So Fred, together with his loving wife Susie, made a pro and con list of places they would like to live in. They wanted to live someplace nice, where they would not need a car. Exotic islands or other dense cities were on their list, but they were lacking one thing: a high level of walkability. Mercer awarding Vienna the most liveable city did the rest. At 86, after a 70 year long absence, Fred decided to return to his home town Vienna.

Now Fred and Susie’s apartment is directly in the city, their favourite vegan food stores are reachable within a few steps or the close-by subway will take them to the theatre or a museum. When Fred and Susie have friends visiting, they show them around by walking. If they are by themselves, on a regular day, they walk at least 30 minutes. At Walk21 we will hear their story on how walkability truly creates a liveable environment – for all ages. We will also ask them, what vision they have for Vienna!