No-Car Suburb in Germany May Prove Tough to Translate

Americans 'suspicious' of green model
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 12, 2009 11:00 AM CDT
Laura Gernell displays a bicycle she received from the Freecycle Network, a Web-based community swap program, at her home in Marmet, W.Va., Dec. 21, 2007.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Will Europe’s assault on the American way of life stop at nothing? Vauban, a town in the southwest corner of Germany, is a working model of a leafy-green suburb without cars. People walk or bike, and a tram runs through the middle of town. “When I had a car I was always tense,” one resident tells the New York Times. “I’m much happier this way.”

Some worry a similar development—with no street parking or driveways—will get lost in translation. “People in the US are incredibly suspicious of any idea where people are not going to own cars,” says the co-founder of CarFree City USA. There’s a plan for a Vauban-style suburb outside Oakland, Calif. And if that falls through? A cars-welcome backup called Village D’Italia is planned.