One of the required stops on this trip, for me, was Freiburg Germany. I first heard about this place from the Conrad family and specifically Manfred Conrad. He came to Freiburg and saw what they are doing and it inspired him to start changing how Waterloo Region looks at development.
There is an area of Freiburg called the Vauban. This is a hugely sustainable community which brings together many different housing options, community centers, work places and more to create a unique society. Those that live here sign an agreement for how they will live and make choices based on that.
We saw very high density, communal style living. There were independent houses for those that wanted more space and privacy. There were very few cars as most people used the transit system. And there is one of the most sustainable mixed use buildings.
This is not the only area of Freiburg that they are looking to do differently. In fact it has been asked if this is the most sustainable city in the world.
Waterloo Region is doing so much to work towards sustainability. The areas of transportation, workplaces, housing and more all need focused efforts to create the community we desire. I wonder, while I walk these streets in Freiburg, what we (the members of the community working toward this vision) could learn with some time to pick the brains of those steering the direction of Freiburg.
Sustainability means doing things differently to the benefit of all and it is so Inspiring to see this in action here in Freiburg.