The German city plans to make walking and biking its dominant mode of transport. Within the next two decades, Hamburg will reduce the number of cars by only allowing pedestrians and bikers to enter certain areas.
The project calls for a gruenes netz, or a “green network,” of connected spaces that people can access without cars. By 2035, the network will cover 40% of Hamburg and will include parks, playgrounds, sports fields, and cemeteries.
In February, Germany’s highest administrative court also ruled that, in an effort to improve urban air quality, cities can ban cars from some streets. As The New York Times notes, the ruling could open the floodgates for cities around the country to go car-free.
Stuttgart and Düsseldorf — German cities with high pollution levels — will likely enact the first bans in the fall. Stuttgart, home to Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, has recently favored such bans. In 2017, Stuttgart announced that starting this year, it will keep diesel vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards from entering the city on high-pollution days.