Freiburg: 2013 City of Vision Study Tour

The City of Freiburg is often called Germany's "ecological capital" and has been recognized internationally as one of the world’s most livable, sustainable and child-friendly cities. In 1993, IMCL awarded the City of Freiburg the IMCL City of Vision Award. Since then, Freiburg has received numerous awards for its leadership in sustainable transportation planning, promotion of walking and biking, traffic calming mechanisms, human scale mixed-use development, renewable energy, protection of nature, and sustainability. Today, we are proud to work with the City of Freiburg to further disseminate the innovations and improvements in livability and sustainability the City has achieved in recent years by organizing the 2013 City of Vision Study Tour to Freiburg, September 27 – October 4, 2013.

Not only retaining and enhancing the beauty, walkability, mixed use and vibrancy of its historic city, Freiburg planning over the last 40 years has emphasized biking, walking and public transit, traffic calming, and mixed-use human-scale development to create a “city of short distances”. Numerous sustainability measures such as regional heating, recycling, and low-energy buildings have been implemented. Regional planning has focused development within city boundaries, and thus prevented sprawl. Historic castles, villages and towns have been protected. A strong emphasis is placed by Germany, Switzerland and France on ensuring ecological standards and protecting the diversity of vineyards, orchards and farms that produce the region’s renowned specialty items.

Situated on the edge of the Black Forest close to Switzerland and France, Freiburg has a cheerful character. Blessed by a warm climate, a young population (it has a large university interwoven throughout the city), excellent wines, and a festive tradition, Freiburg is a delightful city to study for all those concerned with city livability. Cities around the world have much to learn from details such as Freiburg’s “city carpet” (paving throughout the pedestrian zone); bicycle network planning and bike services; public transit design and linking policies; principles for developing new urban neighborhoods; traffic calming details (Wohnstrasse, Verkehrsberuhigung), renewable energy industries, low energy architecture, district heating, etc.

To learn more about Freiburg’s healthy and sustainable planning achievements, please read the complete article here.

For more information about the Study Tour, please click here.