WHAT IS IT LIKE LIVING IN FREIBURG? THE GREENEST CITY
If we recently talked about the most sustainable cities on the planet, in this post we want to talk about living in Freiburg, a German city that is a pioneer of the environmental movement. If you want to know how this city works and what sustainable goals they have in the long term, keep on reading!
Freiburg, pioneer of the environmental movement
This battlement city is a pioneer of the environmental movement since 1970 and it’s considered the greenest city in Germany, a country of reference in sustainable urbanism.
Freiburg im Breisgau, that is its complete name, is at the foot of the Black Forest and was devastated by bombs during the Second World War. Today is a model of reconciliation between ecology and economy. This German city aims to be climate neutral and to generate all the energy it needs from renewable sources by 2050. Even the citizens of Freiburg have a personal emissions calculator to help them develop more sustainable habits!
Freiburg’s transport plans have promoted respect for the environment since 1969 and in the center of the city, rebuilt with the medieval aspect of its foundation in 1120, there are no cars to be seen! It has increased the use of soft mobility such as bicycles, pedestrian movements, and public transport.
Its Transport Development Plan VEP 2020 seeks to keep car use at a moderate level. This is evidenced by the so-called “bicycle stadium” of its Central Station, with 1,000 parking spaces for bicycles and connected to public transport, the cycling and pedestrian network, and car-sharing.
A sustainable urban model
Quality of life begins with the air, and Freiburg, which has managed to reduce its carbon dioxide by 20% since the 1990s, aims to reduce it by another 50% by 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2050 by generating 100% of its energy through renewable sources.
As we said, citizens have a “CO2 calculator” with which they count their emissions, compare them with the national average and detect in which areas of their lives they can improve the figures.
In its crusade for the climate, Freiburg has as an ally its large forest area (43% of the urban district). Every year, almost 55,000 metric tons of CO2, (3% of the city’s emissions) are no longer emitted thanks to the use of wood from the forest or are absorbed by this enormous green space.
Energy efficiency and waste management
Energy efficiency is a constant concern and buildings are remodeled before a thermographic study to avoid leaks and optimize energy consumption. Freiburg treasures an emblem of sustainable construction: the Bugginger Strasse 50 skyscraper, considered the world’s first energy-efficient passive high-rise building, with a heating consumption of less than 15 kWh per year, which represents a saving of 78 % compared to usual standards.
Being the safest city in Germany, 1,800 hours of sunshine per year give it the best conditions for the use of solar energy. Public buildings, homes, businesses, industries, academic facilities, and even the local football stadium are covered by solar panels, and since May 2017 citizens have been helped to install photovoltaic systems on their roofs!
Most of the waste is recycled in a thermal power plant that generates electricity for 25,000 households, but the priority is to produce as little waste as possible.
The Freiburg are aware of this and in 2019 they only produced 108 kg per inhabitant per year, while the German average was 151 kg!
What do you think of the high standards initiatives of this city? Do you think that where you live will one day be able to make these sustainable measurements?