Wednesday, May 13, 2009

--From the New York Times: Car-free in Germany

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.

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Here's the problem with glorifying this suburb: Germany already has walkable urban centers. A suburb that connects to a walkable urban core via light rail is a brilliant idea, yes. But what if you tried to connect The Waters or Hampstead to Montgomery via light rail. A train stop at Eastchase and one downtown...and still no access to a major supermarket or movie theater or airport or discount retailer or....

Maybe car-free suburbs are admirable in the Northeast. The rest of the country has a long way to go.

1 comment:

  1. I agree the rest of the country does have a long way to go. There can be talk of going 'green' but in the Southeast it is not set up as practical. The retail is not conducive to the 'green' set up. It would take a complete revision on the way things are outlined.
    I will make the point though that having going 'green' in a round about way, contributes to a group forming a cohesive communal society. This idea is embraced freely in the European cultures but the south or should I be so bold in saying the American culture has not embraced this view so easily. Until we change this view I do not believe we will ever be able to be completely 'green'.
    Also in a side note...I feel that the houses that are 'environmentally friendly' are so unique because it is still such a foreign and unique concept to many. It's a stretch but hmmm...food for though.

    Here is an interesting site:
    http://www.coopamerica.org/about/NewNameSameMission.cfm

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