German Suburb of Vauban Opts to go 'Car-less'
Vauban, a district in Freiburg, Germany, home to around 5,500 residents is popularly known as ‘community with no cars.’ As reported, 70 percent of the families in this upscale suburb don’t own cars. Though Car ownership is allowed, cars can only be parked at the large garages at the edge of the development. Also a car-owner has to buy a space, worth $40,000 along with a home.
“Vauban is clearly an offer for families with kids to live without cars," says Jan Scheurer, an Australian researcher who has studied the Vauban model extensively. "It was meant to counter urban sprawl - an offer for families not to move out to the suburbs and give them the same, if better quality of life. And it is very successful." (As cited in The Christian Science Monitor.)
Completed in 2006, the main aim of this project is to put into practice the eco-friendly, social and cultural provisions. The project itself has seen a remarkable progress and is also being termed as movement towards ‘smart-planning’. As for the residents, this suburb has become a close knit eco- family that has managed to attract much of media glare with its good services.
The car-ownership rate in Vauban is only 150 per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with 430 per 1,000 inhabitants in Freiburg proper. This figure comes as quite a contrast when compared with other districts, suburbs and cities around the world.
Experts believe that it is a positive step towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and thus in the lessening the dangers of global warming.
According to the European Environment Agency, Passenger cars are responsible for 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe- a growing trend that has become a cause of worry for environmentalists across the globe
Hence, it would be interesting to see if whether the other communities of the world will follow the example or rather a trend, set up by the Vauban community. Whether the world will choose to go eco-friendly or will it put the future of automobile industry in jeopardy – is something one would eagerly want to know!
Tags: Cars , Eco-friendly , Smart- Planning , Vauban , Germany
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