Category Archives: Carfree

a suburb without cars is like a day without coughing

Vauban street sceneBrent pointed out this article in the New York Times about a carfree German suburb:

Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.

Sound familiar? It’s the “car-lite” mode suggested by my favorite urban design manual, Carfree Cities. I’m glad to see communities implementing these principles in the real world; hopefully we can learn more about how to make places like this more common.

The city also looks well-placed as a destination for my upcoming (someday) architectural tour of Europe. Now if we could just get this silly dollar back up to its former value…

Mr. Fusion, Meet Ejeep

Seems like we’re getting back to the future in style.


The Climate Friendly Cities is a project of the Green Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP), a local non-government organization. In the Ecopolis episode, GRIPP Chairperson Athena Ballesteros explained that she envisioned GRIPP to address the pollution and noise problems that come with the 250,000 or so diesel-fed jeepneys clogging Philippine streets.

The project’s first component involves the use of electric-powered jeepneys – or eJeepneys. Their diesel engines cause traditional jeepneys to emit a lot of noise and smoke. In contrast, eJeepneys run on electric motors and emit barely any noise and no smoke at all. The project’s second component involves the installation of bio-digesters coupled to gas engines – essentially power plants that would convert organic trash to energy, producing electricity to run homes, offices, and, of course, the eJeepneys. The project’s third major component is a piece of land that will serve as the garage, maintenance area and charging station of the eJeepneys.

(via my friend Pia who is involved with this project in Manila.)