Hamburg plans radical makeover as city where cars aren't needed
Around the globe, cities are seeking to dissuade people from using cars. Hamburg wants to go much further and eliminate the need for automobiles entirely. Arch Daily reports that the city’s Green Network Plan (Gruenes-Netz) aims to transform Germany’s second-largest metropolis into a car-free zone in 20 years.
Hamburg would accomplish this by tethering parks, gardens, squares, sports fields and other public space via pedestrian and cycling trails. The network would connect 40 percent of Hamburg’s terrain and unite all seven of its metro area’s municipalities. The idea is modeled after an extensive trail system in Copenhagen that links outlying communities to the urban core.
In a blog post, Kaid Benfield, special counsel for urban solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council, emphasizes that cars would still be allowed into Hamburg but wouldn’t be necessary for most “able-bodied” people. More importantly, he argues, the plan would add green space that could help the flood-prone city absorb more water from the Elbe River and the nearby North Sea.