One Giant Outdoor Café
Want to bring life back to the streets? Try turning your city into a vast outdoor café.
Socialization during a pandemic is difficult and rather weird. But at the same time, it is the way to keep people healthy and the streets buzzing.
To do that, Vilnius turned itself into a vast outdoor café. Yes, literally—bars and restaurants were allowed to set up tables at least two meters apart from each other in otherwise busy plazas, squares and other public spaces free of charge.
"Everyone was really tired of quarantine restrictions, the city streets were dead and businesses wanted to operate as soon as possible. So when we came up with the idea to give more freedom to cafés, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Other countries also found this initiative helpful and innovative as many adapted it to their own circumstances. Such ideas are like a breath of fresh air—they are necessary for a healthy, creative and happy society." – Karolis Žukauskas, Advisor to the Mayor.
In the end, the gastronomic culture of the city got back on track—more than 400 local businesses in over 18 spots invited people to go out and have fun (but not without respecting the privacy of local residents!). And just in case the city is again forced into isolation, this allowance has been extended for the entire warm season.