Could you live without a car? In the neighbourhood of Vauban, near the German city Freiburg, they can. This innovative neighbourhood is almost car-free, except for the main thoroughfare in the centre that connects the train station with the car garages where citizens can purchase spaces for 29,000 euros. Construction began in the mid-90s and has been completed in 2006.
70% of the citizens now lives without a car, while 57% of them sold their cars when they moved to Vauban. There’s a possibility to use a Zipcar, which is a communal car that every subscriber may use. While the restriction of cars reduces emission, also the dwellings, called ‘Passivehouses’, are environment-friendly, reducing energy use with 79%. Development of neighbourhoods like in Vauban and other so-called ‘smart planning’ concepts, are a growing trend in Europe.