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Freiburg: Green capital of Europe

Grant, Marcus; Barton, Hugh


Marcus Grant

Hugh Barton


Hugh Barton

Susan Thompson

Sarah Burgess

Marcus Grant


The spatial configuration of Freiburg is examined with respect to how land use and transport policies have been developed that have achieved a good quality of life across the life-course, whilst also minimising global footprint.

A systemic analysis shows that the Freiburg example addresses almost all aspects of healthy urban planning, in a highly synergistic manner. That is why it is worthy of study. However, these outcomes have been achieved even though in Freiburg health has not been the explicit aim; rather quality of life for all, together with environmental sustainability.
Overall this case study shows that health and wellbeing is consistent with other high profile goals, and they can result in a very healthy environment. Some key issues of focus explored using a ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ approach.
• the complete integration of transport and land use planning to ensure excellent accessibility to all facilities etc by any mode;
• the design of new neighbourhoods collaboratively with residents to ensure minimal car dependence (Vauban);
• the diversity of housing tenure and house variety ensured by preventing big developers from dominating, opening up community and household options;
• the delivery of a high quality and legible urban environments in the face of multiple small development companies by the use of comprehensive design codes
The chapter ends with a discussion of what we can learn, what might be transferable to other situations.


Grant, M., & Barton, H. (2015). Freiburg: Green capital of Europe. In H. Barton, S. Thompson, S. Burgess, & M. Grant (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being: Shaping a Sustainable and Healthy Future (540-551). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Publication Date Jun 11, 2015
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Pages 540-551
Book Title The Routledge Handbook of Planning for Health and Well-Being: Shaping a Sustainable and Healthy Future
ISBN 9781138023307
Keywords Freiburg, Europe, green capital
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