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Vauban, Germany - a glimpse of the Carless future

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Vauban, Germany - a glimpse of the Carless future

Successful experiment in alternative mobility strategy

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The right location for this experiment to happen was near Freiburg, Germany (the "warmest city" in that country)


Freiburg is known as an "eco-city". In recent years it has attracted solar industries and research; the Greens have a stronghold here (the strongest in any major German city; up to 25% of the votes city-wide, in some neighbourhoods reaching 40% or more in the 2002 national elections). The newly built neighbourhoods of Vauban and Rieselfeld were developed and built according to the idea of sustainability. The citizens of Freiburg are known in Germany for their love of cycling and recycling.


In June 1992, the Freiburg city council adopted a resolution that it would only permit construction of "low energy buildings" on municipal land, and all new buildings must comply with certain "low energy" specifications. Low energy housing uses solar power passively as well as actively. In addition to solar panels and collectors on the roof, providing electricity and hot water, many passive features use the sun’s energy to regulate the temperature of the rooms.


Freiburg is host of a number of international organisations, in particular ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and ISES - International Solar Energy Society


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TRANSURBAN attempts to chart design ideals, ideas, and processes of recent and current experiments for cities of the future.




Vauban, a 38-hectare former barracks site near the town center of Freiburg, Germany. The site was purchased by the city in 1994 with the goal to convert it into a flagship environmental and social project. It comprises 2,000 homes to house 5,000 people, as well as business units to provide about 500-600 jobs and is widely seen as one of the most positive examples in Europe of environmental thinking in relation to urban design




the car-ownership rate in Vauban is only 150 per 1,000 inhabitants,............. (15%)

compared with 430 per 1,000 inhabitants in Freiburg proper........................ (43%)

In contrast, the US average is 640 household vehicles per 1,000 residents .. (64%)


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Here's Green candidate, Domi Voynet, visiting Vauban:

http://2.upload.dailymotion.com/popular/vo...quartier-vauban (sip to mid-point)


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Carfree housing is not exactly a new concept.

After all, most residential development from the era before mass-motorisation - generally before 1945 - was done without parking provision in mind. While some pre-1945 housing stock, even of medium or higher density, was subsequently retrofitted with garages or ground-level car parks, not infrequently compromising open space quality and/or heritage issues, a substantial supply of parking-free housing remains to this day in all European cities. In Germany and Austria, building codes have required parking provision with residential development since 1939 (see below), with quite rigorous enforcement until recently, though the regulations were not always applied under the productive pressures of the post-war reconstruction period in the 1950s. In Denmark and the Netherlands, urban renewal that required demolition and new construction within old-growth urban fabric was similarly exempted from such rules, in the knowledge that apart from generating formidable extra costs, the ubiquitous provision of parking would rapidly have brought the limited and already congested road networks in pre-industrial or 19th century districts to a standstill.




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Car-free Housing : http://www.sustainability.murdoch.edu.au/p...e.html#frvaub-f




Gaia Uni Board : http://www.gaiauniversity.org/english/inde...7&Itemid=74

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from the December 20, 2006 edition


New German community models car-free living

By Isabelle de Pommereau | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor


FREIBURG, GERMANY – It's pickup time at the Vauban kindergarten here at the edge of the Black Forest, but there's not a single minivan waiting for the kids. Instead, a convoy of helmet-donning moms - bicycle trailers in tow - pedal up to the entrance.


Welcome to Germany's best-known environmentally friendly neighborhood and a successful experiment in green urban living. The Vauban development - 2,000 new homes on a former military base 10 minutes by bike from the heart of Freiburg - has put into practice many ideas that were once dismissed as eco-fantasy but which are now moving to the center of public policy.



GOING TO TOWN: A youngster pedals over the tram tracks that lead to Freiburg's center.


With gas prices well above $6 per gallon across much of the continent, Vauban is striking a chord in Western Europe as communities encourage people to be less car-dependent. Just this week, Paris unveiled a new electric tram in a bid to reduce urban pollution and traffic congestion.


"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."


There are numerous incentives for Vauban's 4,700 residents to live car-free: Carpoolers get free yearly tramway passes, while parking spots - available only in a garage at the neighborhood's edge - go for €17,500 (US$23,000). Forty percent of residents have bought spaces, many just for the benefit of their visiting guests.


As a result, the car-ownership rate in Vauban is only 150 per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with 430 per 1,000 inhabitants in Freiburg proper.


In contrast, the US average is 640 household vehicles per 1,000 residents. But some cities - such as Davis, Calif., where 17 percent of residents commute by bike - have pioneered a car-free lifestyle that is similar to Vauban's model.


Vauban, which is located in the southwestern part of the country, owes its existence, at least in part, to Freiburg - a university town, like Davis - that has a reputation as Germany's ecological capital.



...more: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1220/p01s03-woeu.html

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In the South of Freiburg, on the former area of a French barrack site, Vauban, a new district is being developed for more than 5,000 inhabitants and 600 jobs. In 1993 the planning for the district started and in 2006, after three development phases, the district (38 hectares) will be completed. By the beginning of the year 2001, 2000 people had moved in.


The main goal of the project is to implement a city district in a co-operative, participatory way which meets ecological, social, economical and cultural requirements. The citizen's association "Forum Vauban e.V." (which has NGO-status) applied to coordinate the participation process and was recognized as its legal body by the City of Freiburg in 1995.




Through this process, many ressources became available: the biggest strength of the project is the involvement of people who are forming the district. Major driving forces for the development of Vauban are the ideas, the creativity and commitment of the people involved and the common goal to create a sustainable, flourishing neighbourhood.


In the fields of energy, traffic / mobility, building and participation / social interaction / public spaces new concepts were successfuly put into practice. In Freiburg-Vauban


The project's structure integrates legal, political, social and economical actors from grassroot-level up to the city administration, all houses are built at least with improved low energy standard (65 kWh/m2a, calculated similar to the Swiss SIA 380/1 standard) plus at least 100 units with "passive house" (15 kWh/m2a) or "plus energy" standard (houses which produce more energy than they need, another 100 plus energy houses are planned), a highly efficient co-generation plant (CHP) operating on wood-chips is operating since 2002 and connected to the district's heating grid.


Solar collectors (about 450 m2 until 2000) and photovoltaics (about 1200 m2 until 2000) will be common "ornaments" on the district's roofs, an ecological traffic / mobility concept is implemented with a reduced number of private cars to be parked in the periphery (about 40% of the households agreed to live without an own car), good public transport, a convenient car sharing system and a higher quality of living, streets and other public spaces are playground for kids and places for social interaction, joint building projects (about 30 groups of building owners, the Genova co-operative and the self-organized S.U.S.I.-settlement initiative) are the fertile ground for a stable district's community and rise ecological awareness, a far-reaching participation and the social work organized by Forum Vauban gives voice to the people's needs and supports their initiatives, invents innovative ecological and social concepts and sets up a communication and participation structure including meetings, workshops, a three-monthly district news magazine, publications on special issues and internet-presentations.


@: http://www.vauban.de/info/abstract.html


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Photos: http://www.sustainability.murdoch.edu.au/p...e/frvaub-f.html

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