September 22, 2011

Europe’s Vibrant New Low Car(bon) Communities

ITDP has issued a new report that examines eight new developments across Europe and finds that the design and policy measures these developments have employed to limit car use are working. These developments have lower rates of car ownership and car mode share, and higher rates of bicycling, walking and transit use than comparable areas or their surrounding cities. This also means these developments have lower carbon footprints from transportation.

Some of the key results include:
Greenwich Millennium Village in London has a car mode share of 18%, less than half of that in the surrounding district, which has a car mode share of 44%.

Vauban, in Freiburg, Germany has a car mode share of 16% compared with the citywide average of 30%.

Car ownership rates in Houten are only 80% of that of the surrounding city of Zeist in The Netherlands.

Also in The Netherlands, bicycling mode share in GWL Terrein in Amsterdam is 50% compared with the rest of Amsterdam West, which has a cycling mode share of 32%.

Vauban in Freiburg, Germany limits car use through parking-free residential streets, placing parking further from residences and creating high-quality, direct connections for pedestrians and cyclists, who can pass even where cars cannot.
Vauban in Freiburg, Germany limits car use through parking-free residential streets, placing parking further from residences and creating high-quality, direct connections for pedestrians and cyclists, who can pass even where cars cannot.

 

These developments have employed a combination of carrot and stick measures that promote walking, cycling and transit use, while regulating road use and parking to make car use less convenient. These measures closely align with ITDP’s Eight Principles for Transport in Urban Life.

It is also worth noting that nearly all of these developments were created in close proximity to existing urban centers and near good transit connections. This combined with strong design measures to make cycling and walking safe and pleasant take away a lot of the “need” for car ownership, and make commuting by car even less essential.

The report was researched by Nicole Foletta and Simon Field.

Download the report

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