Freiburg in Germany Focuses on Renewable Energy Sources

Denise Chen - Nov 26, 2012
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While developing countries are still finding out ways how to become sustainable and eco-friendly, the city of Freiburg Germany has already found a solution.

It is known to be one of the best Green model cities in the world due to the fact that it was able to make energy conservation a norm. The local government was able to mandate every house to avoid wasting 75kWh/m2 per year. The quest is to become one of the greenest cities in the world by focusing on making waves on energy-saving principles.

Residents have been trained to collect their food waste and turn it into compost. Children are being taught to do the same. The city forbids the use of mechanical toys because parents want their children to learn how to play with sticks and leaves. The children are being taught to live with the cycle of nature in order that they may learn how to appreciate it.

Freiburg locals have teamed up with the government in order to solve their problem with growing population and lack of electricity. The first thing that the city did was to create a tramline extension so that residents would not have any need for purchasing new cars.

After that the city has enticed new residents to have their own garden; they are required to have one for each flat and because of that there is an abundance of play parks in the area. In order for people to be able to interact with one another they also reduced the height of the buildings.

The German government was able to find a way to ensure that several households can earn living using solar settlements – each of the 60 houses earns up to €6,000 a year.

In the past a stronghold of a green movement in the 1970s has transformed the city. They had a successful protest against a nearby nuclear power plant and the committed leaders in the political arena have supported the protesters that have led to the research activities that founded the green-spirited companies. Because of the energy that was put in by the protesters Freiburg has been changed forever, the effort of a few individuals had led to the victory of the Green City.

After the World War II the city officials have decided to create an architectural style that would be best suited for tram track instead of cars and this move proved to be beneficial in the coming years due to decreased gas emissions in the city. The officials in charge have created a traffic management plan that integrated environmental concerns for the city.

Local officials have made sure that the city would allow people to walk, cycle and use public transit more often. A number of areas where converted into pedestrian zones which made almost everything accessible.

They made sure that public transport was accessible and in the coming years they were able to provide fast, convenience and reliable public transport with unlimited travel and urban network of tram and bus.

Today it is a certified green city with bike-friendly streets with over 9,000 bicycle parking spaces near transit stations. Because of this move traffic decreased by 28%, the miles travelled by cars fell to 38%. Because they were able to plan the traffic management correctly many areas are child-friendly and people can play in the streets.

In order to solve parking space problems the city has created multi-story garages at the edge of the residential districts and near the mass transit stations. Car sharing between neighbors and co-workers is also promoted and in order to encourage public transport people are given a yearly free pass for public transport within the city and a 50% discount on national rail tickets.

In 1992 the residents of Freiburg have changed their building design standards and have built structures that are crafted to save energy. The house designs have reduced oil consumption. In order to do this they made sure that their houses can provide home insulation and home retrofits.

The city has focused on creating renewable energy sources and had set aside research funding for solar power, wind, biomass and hydropower.

The city has recognized that solar energy is by far the safest renewable source of energy and has given it focus; it was incorporated in both public and private buildings.

Tourists would be able to see the solar powered structures like the 19-story façade of the main train station, the roof of the convention center, soccer stadium including the business parks, solar factors and the Heliotrope.

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