geography 442 – a student-directed seminar

Vauban: A Sustainable Brownfield

A Final project by Allison Franko

A deviation from the standard essay format, this final project  is in the form of a photo essay or photo discussion, and deals with the planning process, cooperative development, and liveability of the small community of Vauban, in Freiburg, Germany. Freiburg’s history as an eco-city and the struggles its population has overcome (including the successful prevention of a nearby nuclear power plant development) created the foundation for a strong counter-culture and influenced the conception of Vauban.  A public-community partnership with Forum Vauban (a community organization) and the creation of Baugruppen (groups of homeowners) provided a stable basis for successful participatory planning, cooperative housing development, and provided for the steadfast resolution of future conflicts between Vauban’s citizens. The layout and design of Vauban focuses on car-free liveability, walkability, efficient public transport, ‘passive’ co-housing groups, rainwater management, and alternative forms of energy, including solar panels and a combined heat and power plant. Broad concepts of sustainability, and ideologies such as eco-socialism, will be discussed in reference to Vauban, and as well, to brownfield developments (the re-use of former military bases). Vauban is an interesting example of what one form of sustainable landscape can look like and lessons can be learned from the community’s successes and concerns.


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