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Vauban in Freiburg, Germany
By Daniel 2022/10

A sustainable town: Vauban, Germany | leading the world in plus-energy green buildings |


Vauban - A Plus-Energy Community

Vauban is an exemplary sustainable town. A “zero-emission” district in Freiburg, Germany, most energy for buildings in Vauban is sourced from rooftop solar panels.

Energy for Vauban is also supplied by a local municipal bio-natural gas cogeneration plant. Vauban's electricity is supplied by renewable energy sources, and district heating for Vauban is supplied by their cogeneration plant.

Buildings in Vauban are either passive energy buildings (ultra energy efficient buildings that consume roughly as much energy as they produce), or plus-energy buildings (producing even more energy than they consume). Homes in the Sun Ship (Das Sonnenschiff) are entirely plus-energy buildings. Residents in plus-energy homes in Vauban simply sell excess energy generated by their home or building back to the municipality (for use in other homes in the community), resulting in lower electricity bills.


Vauban's Urban Planning

Urban planning helped to create a city layout that lends itself to cycling as the primary mode of transit. Vauban's urban plan is connected streets throughout the town (forming a fused grid), plenty of pedestrian and bike paths, as well as designated lanes for mass transit (filtered permeability). 

Vauban's streets have minimal parking spaces, with roads designed instead for pedestrians, cyclists, and mass transit. The majority of Vauban residents don’t own a car, choosing instead to use the tram, cycle, or simply walk. Vauban is not completely emissions-free, as cars are actually allowed (if you pay at least $23,000 USD for a parking spot on the outskirts of town). 

The urban planning strategies of filtered permeability and fused grid were implemented in the design of the municipality of Vauban. Residents primarily live in co-op buildings, such as the Sun Ship.



Vauban, Germany
Vauban
urban plan of Vauban, Germany
Vauban's urban planning layout


The radical culture of Vauban has roots in its dramatic history. Ironically, Vauban was a military town through WWII and into the early ’90s. When the military left, the vacant buildings were inhabited by squatters. These people eventually organized Forum Vauban, organizing a revolutionary eco-community. Today, Vauban is modern, beautiful, and represents the very cutting edge of sustainable living.



And, here are the rankings for Green City Times' top 10 greenest cities in the world>>>

 

The TOP 10 greenest cities in the world (as determined by Green City Times):

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland  
  2. Vaxjo, Sweden  
  3. Freiburg, Germany 
  4. Vancouver, Canada  
  5. Copenhagen, Denmark  
  6. London, UK 
  7. Curitiba, Brazil 
  8. Portland, Oregon, US 
  9. San Diego, California, US 
  10. Oslo, Norway 

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