Friday, March 14, 2014

How are the Germans planning to make their second largest city car-free?

 Auf grünen Wegen durch die Stadt(translation from German: “On green routes through the city”, Ministry of Urban Development and Environment, City of Hamburg, Germany)

Also discussed here: Hamburg Sets Out to Become a Car-Free City in 20 Years(Ignasi Jorro, Films for Action, Feb. 12, 2014)

And here: Hamburg's answer to climate change(Elisabeth Braw, The Guardian, Oct. 31, 2013)

Today we review reports about plans made in Hamburg to replace many roads in the urban core with parks and greenspace linked with cycling and pedestrian paths. This addresses one of the biggest problems that many cities in the USA and Canada have in their larger cities with multi-lane freeways cutting across their centres and clogged roads leading out of the urban cores- with all of the pollution and health issues that accompanies this. In less than 20 years, Hamburg will become a city where the need to use a car is much less and the enjoyment of the city both for getting from place to place and for leisure activities is enhanced. german green plan  

Key Quotes:

 “local authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes in what is expected to become a large green network…the Grünes Netz (Green Web) plan envisages “eliminating the need for automobiles” within two decades.”

“smooth inner traffic flow…lay out new green areas and connect them with the existing parks, community gardens and cementeries. .. Hamburg will pride itself on having over 17,000 acres of green spaces, making up 40% of the city’s area."

“the green ring will play a crucial role to help the metropolis fight against rising temperatures and urban flooding. The average temperature in Germany’s second-largest city has risen by 9 degrees Celsius in scarcely half a century”

“the interspersed patches of green areas will let residents hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics and restaurants, experience calm and watch nature and wildlife right in the city”

"Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you'll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot."

"The green network makes sense from a climate change adaptation perspective, especially since our residents are quite progressive when it comes to climate change adaptation. Many Hamburgers are willing to give up their cars, which is very unusual in Germany."

“the green network could take up space that's needed for housing and businesses, but "on the other hand, it brings economic advantages because it attracts highly educated and competent people to the city."
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