Hamburg, Germany, announces plans to completely ban cars from the city center by 2034.
The municipal government of Hamburg has announced its plan for a complete automotive ban in the city’s downtown, to be implemented by 2034. Titled 'Green Network,' it is aimed at cutting down on greenhouse emissions and fighting pollution. Green Network will require residents to walk, ride bikes and use eco-friendly public transport throughout the city. The plan will cover 40 percent (17,000 acres) of Hamburg, encouraging residents to give up their cars.
In the country that gave the world the Volkswagen - the people’s car, which ranks 21st in the world in private car ownership, this plan is fueling much debate. But Green Party officials believe it will be widely accepted, thanks to its significant improvements in facing climate change. We have reported on somewhat similar initiatives starting in Beijing, China. On our side of the ocean, car bans are quite rare, usually extending to small historic, recreational or nature reserve enclaves within car-infused towns, or encompassing island townships. Could this be the future for our cities?