German city to banish cars within 20 years

January 17, 2014 | By | In News

Germany may be known as the home of some of the world’s biggest car manufacturers, the Nurburgring and a laissez faire attitude to motorway speed limits, but one city is aiming to buck the nation’s car-loving trend with an ambitious plan to ban them from its streets altogether within 20 years.

Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, has announced the plans under an ambitious new scheme called the ‘Green Network’, and would see thousands of commuters taking to bicycles rather than climbing behind the wheel each day, once their use is restricted from roads in 2034.

City planners are currently in the process of constructing a network of tree-lined routes to make the plan a reality.

Hamburg city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch told the ZME Science urban planning network: “We envision a network that doesn’t just help residents to get from point A to B in a sustainable fashion,” reported The Independent.

“It will offer people opportunities to hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics, restaurants, experience calm and watch nature right in the city."

The Green Network will cover some 40 per cent of Hamburg’s entire area, and will see its already extensive green areas connected in such a way that residents can enjoy them in their entirety on foot or by bike.

Other European cities have attempted similar, such as Copenhagen, which is building a network of 26 bicycle ‘superhighways’ to make travelling by bike from the city centre to the suburbs easier and safer.

Aside from making Hamburg greener and quieter, the Green Network initiative also aims to reduce the city’s CO2 emissions and reduce the risk of flooding.

Would you want to live in a city with no cars? Do you think such a plan could work in a UK city? Have your say below.

Picture: Fotolia

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