Car-Free Cities a Pipe Dream? They’re Already Here . . .

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Banning automobiles from cities may sound like one of those utopian ideas that never actually gets implemented, but it turns out that in Germany there is such a place. Vauban, a former military area in southern Freiburg, was transformed in the early 1990s into an environmental district that bans cars from the city center.

To ensure mobility, the city introduced a tramline and car-sharing program and added bike paths and bicycle parking. According to the Danish Architecture Center, schools, shopping and businesses are within walking or cycling distance of each other.

Now, there are much grander plans for a car-free city: Chengdu, China plans to build a densely populated metropolis on its outskirts called the Great City that can accommodate 80,000 residents — and would be car free, Wired reported last year.

More from the BBC on plans to redesign cities to accommodate pedestrians.

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