Hamburg Plans for Car-Free City by 2034

By: | March 8th, 2014

Germany is the leading automobile manufacturer in the world; it prides itself on having given the world brands like Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen. German cars have always been major players in the automotive industry.

But now, in a major ideological turnaround, Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg is planning to drastically reduce the number of cars from the city’s main thoroughfares over the next 20 years. Once the plan is completed, it will make the city a much greener and healthier place to live with over 17,000 acres of green spaces that will make up 40% of the city’s area.

The city plans to put thousands of commuters on bike and foot

Local authorities are working on creating a Grünes Netz, or “Green Network,” to provide safe and car-free commuter routes to all residents. They plan to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes between all major parks, business centers, public areas, playgrounds and cemeteries in Hamburg to smooth inner city traffic flow. It would enable the commuters to navigate the city entirely by bicycles and on foot.

Other reason behind ‘Green Network’ plan is an effort to regulate the city’s climate

In the past 60 years, the city’s average temperature has increased by 1.2 degrees Celsius to 9 degrees Celsius and sea levels have risen by 20 centimeters. But the sea levels are expected to further rise by another 30 to 110 centimeters by 2100.

A car-free city will definitely help to lower C02 emissions. The expanded green spaces will also play a crucial role to help Hamburg fight against rising temperatures and alleviate flooding in the event of heavy rainfall or super storms.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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