They Couldn't Car Less
A community of residents Freiburg, Germany, has launched the nation’s biggest experiment in car-free living. The Vauban development — which includes 280 new homes on 94 acres — bans cars within its limits, so people happily get around by bike and on foot. About half of the residents have given up their cars completely, while the others keep vehicles in garage just outside the development. Vauban resident Ruthild Haage-Rapp: “The children can play in the street. It’s quiet. You can stand by your kitchen window without all the noise from the street. Then the inconvenience is worth it.” Germany has some 20 car-free communities in various stages of development, and the trend is spreading to other European nations. An auto-free development in Amsterdam with 600 apartments was completed in 1998, a similar project opened in Vienna in December, and another will be completed in Edinburgh this summer.