Like the idea of car-free streets? Bicycle riders the world over can probably see the appeal, but in the town of Vauban, German, the car-free lifestyle is being taken up by pretty much everyone. Since the early 1990s, residents have been moving away from cars and into alternatives like public transportation and bikes. As we wrote in 2006, the shift has been incremental and with the strong support of the people living in town. Heck, about 57 percent of the residents sold their cars in order to “enjoy the privilege of living here,” project founder Andreas Delleske recently told The Independent.
One way Vauban emptied the streets was to raise the associated costs of owning a car in town. For example, it costs about €20,000 ($28,153 U.S.) for a parking space in a garage on the outskirts of town. To make up for the convenience of personal vehicles, Vauban operates with an “ultra-efficient tram service” and also offers car-sharing for people who want to go on trips. The green efforts are attracting attention, and busloads of tourists show up every day to see how things are going down. Of course, they need to park outside of town and walk in. It’s all part of the experience. Thanks for the tip, FaLeX!