For a country which prides itself on having given the world the Mercedes and the Autobahn, it represents a major ideological U-turn: Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, is planning to ban all cars from its centre over the next 20 years and put thousands of commuters on bikes.
Under an audacious urban development scheme named “Green Network”, all vehicles will be verboten in Hamburg’s city centre by 2034. Instead people will move about the port city, either via public transport or on foot or bicycle along a series of idyllic green thoroughfares which are now being painstakingly created.
“We envision a network that doesn’t just help residents to get from point A to B in a sustainable fashion,” Hamburg city spokeswoman Angelika Fritsch told the ZME Science urban planning network.
“It will offer people opportunities to hike, swim, do water sports, enjoy picnics, restaurants, experience calms and watch nature right in the city.”