Pedestrian friendly suburb without cars – Vauban, Germany
Recently I came across a nice example of working design that favours pedestrians and bicycles more than cars.
The new (started mid 1990’s, construction finished in 2006) suburban development – Vauban neighbourhood is based on a fused grid (first introduced in 2002, it offers the best of two widely known street patterns: grid and radburn) that favours active movement by foot or bike inside the neighbourhood and filters out the cars.
Cars can enter local streets to access the houses, but the parking there is strictly forbidden. Car owners can park their vehicles only in two spots: the large garages at the end of location. In addition to that, residents of Vauban have to declare whether they own a car yearly and in case they do, the are obliged to buy a parking space as well (which is not extremely cheap). However restrictions on car parking and such disfavouring of car ownership is compensated by a tram line which is within easy walking distance from every home.
Positive effect of this design is already visible in statistical data: “As of 2009 around 70% of the households had chosen to live without a private car. The level of car ownership has fallen over time. An earlier survey showed over 50% of households owned a car; of those who were living carfree, 81% had previously owned one and 57% gave up their cars on or immediately after moving to Vauban.” (Nobis, 2003, cited in wiki:))
And. Besides smart selection of pedestrians over cars, this neighbourhood is built according to low energy consumption standards: “100 units designed to the Passivhaus ultra-low energy building standard. Other buildings are heated by a combined heat and power station burning wood chips, while many of the buildings have Solar collectors or photovoltaic cells. Perhaps the best example of sustainable building is the Solar Settlement in Vauban, a 59 PlusEnergy home housing community. It is the first housing community world wide in which all the homes produce a positive energy balance. The solar energy surplus is then sold back into the city’s grid for a profit on every home.” (again, source: wiki).
This project sounds great! Agree? ;)