VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.
Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.
As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here.
(Source: NYT, via Bus Nerd)
Apparently, plans are in the works for something similar in the Bay Area called Quarry Village.
The Towards Carfree Cities conference is a week away!
In case you missed the first mention back in April, here are the relevant details:
What: A conference that “brings together people from around the world who work to promote practical alternatives to car dependence”
When: June 16-20, 2008
Where: Portland. Oregon (You can take the train!)
How much: Check the registration rates on the conference site.
Some stuff I forgot to mention the first time around:
1) The conference’s cool motto (a good enough reason to attend, as far as I’m concerned): “Live Free or Drive.” Props to the person who thought that up.
2) The free “Public Day” on the 17th:
We are committed to making this conference as inclusive as possible. If you are unable to attend for the entire week, please consider participating in our free events, such as Public Day on June 17th which features our keynote speakers, programs on Carfree Family Living and Portland’s Freeway History. Public Day is free and open to the entire community…
See you on TriMet!
• A car-free city in the Persian Gulf:
Groundbreaking is scheduled for Saturday for Masdar City, a nearly self-contained mini-municipality designed for up to 50,000 people rising from the desert next to Abu Dhabi’s international airport and intended as a hub for academic and corporate research on nonpolluting energy technologies.
The 2.3-square-mile community, set behind walls to divert hot desert winds and airport noise, will be car free, according to the design by Foster + Partners, the London firm that has become a leading practitioner of energy-saving architecture.
(Source: New York Times, via Bus Nerd)
• Even higher congestion charges in London:
London Mayor Ken Livingstone will triple the city’s daily congestion charge to 25 pounds ($49) for the most-polluting cars and sport utility vehicles, his latest plan to cut carbon emissions by boosting driving costs.
Owners of vehicles that emit more than 225 grams (0.5 pounds) of carbon dioxide a kilometer — the so-called ‘G band’ rating used for calculating U.K. vehicle tax — will pay the increased fee to enter central London’s congestion zone starting Oct. 27. The charge will be waived for owners of the least- polluting vehicles, Livingstone said at a news conference today.
(Source: Bloomberg News, via World Carfree Network)