Hamburg 1

Highways are great for getting people from one place to another quickly. But they are not so great for those who have to live near them. Almost without exception, major highways and turnpikes around the world- literally from LA to Beijing– are noisy, stinky places with high concentrations of CO2 and other toxic exhaust gasses that spew into the atmosphere from internal combustion engines … and Germany’s famous Autobahn is o exception!

In Hamburg, the iconic, go-fast autobahn bisects the city, creating a divide that makes it difficult for people to get from one half of the city to the other without a car. To remedy the situation, Hamburg has plans to build a series of new public parks that will cover nearly 2 miles of the autobahn highway while creating safe, green paths for people and animals.

The parks will be a network of meadows, bike paths and community gardens that will add 60 acres of new green space to the city. They will make it easier to walk or bicycle across town and will eventually link up with the city’s “green network,” — a plan to cover as much as 40% of the urban area in parks connected by trails.

Relief from the constant hum of traffic will encourage developers to build up to 2000 new homes near the parks, according to Ministry of Urban Development. The project is set to begin this year and is scheduled for completion in 2022. When done, all that new green space and will mesh nicely with Hamburg’s overall commitment to become a car free city by 2034.


Source | Photos: Inhabitat via Fast Company; Department of Urban Development and Environment.