In the South of Freiburg, on the former area of a French barrack site, Vauban, a new district is being developed for more than 5,000 inhabitants and 600 jobs. In 1993 the planning for the district started and in 2006, after three development phases, the district (38 hectares) will be completed. By the beginning of the year 2001, 2000 people had moved in.
The main goal of the project is to implement a city district in a co-operative, participatory way which meets ecological, social, economical and cultural requirements. The citizen's association "Forum Vauban e.V." (which has NGO-status) applied to coordinate the participation process and was recognized as its legal body by the City of Freiburg in 1995.
Through this process, many ressources became available: the biggest strength of the project is the involvement of people who are forming the district. Major driving forces for the development of Vauban are the ideas, the creativity and commitment of the people involved and the common goal to create a sustainable, flourishing neighbourhood.
In the fields of energy, traffic / mobility, building and participation / social interaction / public spaces new concepts were successfuly put into practice. In Freiburg-Vauban
- the project's structure integrates legal, political, social and economical actors from grassroot-level up to the city administration,
- all houses are built at least with improved low energy standard (65 kWh/m2a, calculated similar to the Swiss SIA 380/1 standard) plus at least 100 units with "passive house" (15 kWh/m2a) or "plus energy" standard (houses which produce more energy than they need, another 100 plus energy houses are planned),
- a highly efficient co-generation plant (CHP) operating on wood-chips is operating since 2002 and connected to the district's heating grid.
- solar collectors (about 450 m2 until 2000) and photovoltaics (about 1200 m2 until 2000) will be common "ornaments" on the district's roofs,
- an ecological traffic / mobility concept is implemented with a reduced number of private cars to be parked in the periphery (about 40% of the households agreed to live without an own car), good public transport, a convenient car sharing system and a higher quality of living,
- streets and other public spaces are playground for kids and places for social interaction,
- joint building projects (about 30 groups of building owners, the Genova co-operative and the self-organized S.U.S.I.-settlement initiative) are the fertile ground for a stable district's community and rise ecological awareness,
- a far-reaching participation and the social work organized by Forum Vauban gives voice to the people's needs and supports their initiatives, invents innovative ecological and social concepts and sets up a communication and participation structure including meetings, workshops, a three-monthly district news magazine, publications on special issues and internet-presentations.
Background of the Project "Sustainable Model District Vauban"
In the South of Freiburg, on the former area of a French barrack site, Vauban, a new district is being developed (a map is available here) for more than 5,000 inhabitants and 600 jobs. In 1993 the planning for the district started and in 2006, after three development sections, the district (38 hectares) will be completed.
The City of Freiburg has bought the area from the Federal Authorities and paid for this 20,000,000 €. As owner of the Vauban area, the City is responsible for its planning and development. The principle "Learning while Planning" adopted by the city allowed flexibility in reacting to new developments. This allowed an extended citizen participation that went far beyond the legal requirements and enabled citizens to participate even in the planning process. The citizen's association "Forum Vauban e.V." applied to coordinate the participation process and was recognized as its legal body by the City of Freiburg in 1995. From the very beginning, Forum Vauban did not want to restrict itself to merely organizing but also developed own suggestions for the planning and building of the district. Therefore the project was created and implemented together with the City of Freiburg and several other partners.