Reuniting Planning and Health

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Vauban, Freiburg

Vauban, Freiburg (Source: Vauban Actuel)Vauban, Freiburg (Source: TCPA)

Vauban is an urban extension to Freiburg that is home to around 5000 people and 600 jobs. It has extensive areas which are virtually car-free; about 40 per cent of households across a range of incomes don’t own a car. The area is home to a range of uses, including employment, and there are a number of alternative ways of moving around. The low car use means that children can play in public spaces including the streets. There is a focus on sustainable environmental design, on developing a local economy and on building the social connections between residents. There is a high degree of involvement of residents in the planning process, for example, designing local green spaces.

Key lessons

  • A strong champion (for 20 years the council’s head of planning)
  • Progressive and comprehensive land use transport strategy based on walking, cycling and public transport, including new tram connections upfront as part of new urban extensions
  • Long-term plan with tools to implement it
  • Commitment to sustainable development (especially low energy), which has strong overlaps with improving health
  • Strong and meaningful community engagement that has allowed residents to have an influence

More information

Delivering better places in Scotland: a guide to learning from broader experience (Scottish Government)

Freiburg Charter for Sustainable Urbanism (Academy of Urbanism, 2012)

What is a healthy urban environment? (University of West of England)