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788Re: Car free living

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  • Michael Lemberger
    Jan 4, 2007
      On Jan 3, matt7john wrote:

      > We've talked before on this forum about how high gas prices would
      > have to climb before large numbers of people begin biking to work.
      > I think
      > someone even had a chart that said $4 a gallon would prompt large
      > numbers of converts. Here's a German town where $6 a gallon gas has
      > nearly everyone biking.
      >> http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1220/p01s03-woeu.html

      Great article, but it clearly outlines a whole raft of design
      philosophy and incentives in addition to high fuel prices that
      contributed to what Vauban has become. The money quote:

      "In 1998, Freiburg bought land from the German government and worked
      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."

      Their land use and infrastructure were specifically designed to
      reduce dependance on cars. If we want to get away from a car-centric
      culture here in the US, it will take more than high fuel prices.
      Judging by the way the wind blows in contemporary urban design (as
      it's practiced formally and informally), I'd guess that 1974-style
      fuel shortages would be the most likely impetus for any sort of
      significant change in direction. I guess we'll see...

      Michael Lemberger
      Madison, WI
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