Exploring the world's built environments and seeking sustainable solutions.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Freiburg on Foot

Our weary legs may be an indication of how walkable (or not walkable!) our latest ‘home’ city of Freiburg is. In the past four days, we have been exploring the city on foot and discovering how pedestrian friendly Freiburg truly is.

The compact and high density core creates a center which meets local and tourist needs. People of all ages venture out on foot to reach cafes, shops, markets and other services within a short radius of their starting point. With no automobiles allowed within the core, the tram system is heavily relied on to further explore Freiburg. The central train station is right next to the core, bringing travelers directly in to the city.

The walking surface itself is to be admired- the entire core is cobble stone, pattered to divide pedestrians and cyclists, and mimic the river which flows through the city. The stones themselves are split river stones that provide a more uniform surface than traditional cobblestone. Despite all there is to see between the beautiful landscape and buildings, it is worth keeping your eyes to the ground to catch the mosaic markers in front of commercial spaces. Traditionally, these mosaics matched the goods sold inside, for example scissors for a tailor or a pretzel for the bakery.

For those who need to escape the bustling city, the Dreisam river is easily accessible due to its multi-use paths and many crossing bridges. The Black Forest also borders the city and is connected with nature trails and trams.

Thanks to all this walking, I think we deserve some Black Forest cake!

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