Hamburg aims to become a car-free city in 20 years

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Hamburg_101The City Council of the German port and Hanse City of Hamburg has disclosed ambitious plans to divert most cars away from its main thoroughfares in twenty years. In order to do so, local authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes in what is expected to become a large green network. In all, the GrĂ¼nes Netz (Green Web) plan envisages “eliminating the need for cars” within two decades.

By connecting the entire urban center with its outskirts Hamburg is expecting to smooth inner traffic flow. In all, the northernmost city is to lay out new green areas and connect them with the existing parks, community gardens and cemeteries.

Upon completion of the plan Hamburg will pride itself on having over 17,000 acres of green spaces, making up 40% of the city’s area and, according to an official, the ambitious plan will “reduce the need to take the car for weekend outings outside the city”.

Although vehicles are not going to be banned from the main thoroughfares, it has been said, the council expects residents and tourists alike to be able “to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot.”

At the same time, 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, experts warn.

As regards to leisure, 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”.

If we could now add to that community gardens and urban farms where they can also grow and buy their food grown locally it would almost be perfect.

© 2014