Re: article on Vauban, Freiburg in Christian Science Monitor
- --- In email@example.com, "bikerick" <bikerick@...>
> from the December 20, 2006 edition
> New German community models car-free living
> By Isabelle de Pommereau | Correspondent of The Christian Science
> FREIBURG, GERMANYThis is really interesting and there must be many lessons to be drawn
considering the obstacles against even thinking about car-free
development in the UK.
Does anyone know of harder studies of this project? The newspaper
article is slightly brathless.
> There are numerous incentives for Vauban's 4,700 residents to liveHmm, i wonder why I feel slightly sceptic about this. Isnt it a bit
>car-free: Carpoolers get free yearly tramway passes, while parking
>spots - available only in a garage at the neighborhood's edge - go
>for â¬17,500 (US$23,000). Forty percent of residents have bought
>spaces, many just for the benefit of their visiting guests.
co-dependent if you're car-free, to buy a garage to enable your
'guests' in furtherance of their car-dependency?
>pedestrian-friendly, laid down a lattice of bike paths, andI'd like to see the quality and engineering of the bikepaths. I
>introduced a flat rate for tramways and buses.
understand that in Germany it's mandatory to use the bikelanes, and
illegal if you cycle on the road.
> In 1998, Freiburg bought land from the German government and workedWonderful, and sounds like a blueprint we could learn a lot from.
>with Delleske's group to lay out a master plan for the area, keeping
>in mind the ecological, social, economic, and cultural goals of
>reducing energy levels while creating healthier air and a solid
>infrastructure for young families. Rather than handing the area to a
>real estate developer, the city let small homeowner cooperatives
>design and build their homes from scratch.
> In retrospect, "It would have been much simpler to give a big
>developer a piece of land and say, 'Come back five years later with a
>plan,' " says Roland Veith, the Freiburg city official in charge of
> But the result is a "master plan of an ecological city ... unique in
>its holistic approach," says Peter Heck, a professor of material-flow
>management at Germany's University of Trier, pointing out that this
>was a community-wide effort involving engineers, politicians, city
>planners, and residents - not just an environmental group's pilot
Hard to imagine such a vision in our UK money-grubbing society today
or such motivated energy from any group of citizens able to persuade
a UK Local Authority to depart from the convention of gifting sites
to their favourite bulk-housing Developers.
> Today, rows of individually designed, brightly painted buildingsAnyone know where to see plans and images?
>line streets that are designed to be too narrow for cars.
Too often ''eco-housing'' turns out to be more like ''ego-housing''.
Fanciful individualistically ''designed'' houses maybe with tacked on
energy saving features,like solar heating etc but in essence still the
usual detached, space-gobbling suburban house. Let's hope this
housing contributes to the public realm and relates to the city
> Across Europe, similar projects are popping up. Copenhagen, forinstance, maintains a fleet of bikes for public use that is financed
through advertising on bicycle frames.
I've seen this before but does anyone know of its actually working?
> Now it's like a movement," says Mr. Heck. "The idea of saving energyAll sounds good but how much is wishful thinking?
>for our landscape is getting into the basic planning procedure of