Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A German Community Goes "Car-Less"

In Vauban, Germany - a suburban town located on the outskirts of Freiburg - biking and walking are the most popular modes of transportation.

This article in the New York Times recognizes Vauban as one of the few suburbs around the world that is not auto-dependent. Internationally, residents of Vauban are seen as land use pioneers of a growing trend to separate suburbia from automobile dependence that is called "smart planning."

The New York Times "Green Inc." Blog reports that while car ownership is allowed in Vauban, nearly 70% of residents do not own a vehicle. Moreover, 57% of residents sold their automobile in order to move to Vauban.

In doing so, residents of Vauban are reporting a much higher quality of life and are also reducing their carbon footprint.

While some urban cities in the United States - like New York City and Washington, D.C. - report lower carbon emissions by being walkable and providing more compact and dense living arrangements, very few suburban regions have been able to accomplish similar goals.

This article in the New York Times asks urban planning experts to respond to the idea of car-less communities like Vauban and share their vision and advice for future land use strategies in the United States.  

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