12 May
America's Worst Nightmare


The New York Times have an interesting article this morning about a carless suburb development in the German town of Vauban:

“Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home…

While there have been efforts in the past two decades to make cities denser, and better for walking, planners are now taking the concept to the suburbs and focusing specifically on environmental benefits like reducing emissions. Vauban, home to 5,500 residents within a rectangular square mile, may be the most advanced experiment in low-car suburban life. But its basic precepts are being adopted around the world in attempts to make suburbs more compact and more accessible to public transportation, with less space for parking. In this new approach, stores are placed a walk away, on a main street, rather than in malls along some distant highway.”

Sounds great, actually. In Venice Beach, CA, some guy tried to make the city car-less a couple years back. Didn’t go far. Hard, if not impossible to convert a city with cars into becoming car-free, but at least new developments could move forward this way. Doubtful, but worth investigating…

One Response to “Vauban: Germany’s Car-Free Suburb”

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