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Dear reader,

only one more week until the European Conference on Mobility Management (ECOMM): you can still register - you will meet over 350 delegates from at least 33 different countries.

The theme for this e-update is low car housing - often called car free housing. We chose the term low car housing as it is often the more appropriate term - for most people the car is part of their mobility, it is just managed much better in housing planned for low car use.
More than 80 % of modal choices are taken at home! But just here car transportation is dominating like almost nowhere else: The private car is often parking only a few metres away or even in the house itself. The accessibility of housing areas is primarily designed for cars. So housing areas are bearing both the highest potential and the highest need for mobility management activities! Low car housing developments are aiming to change this. The project MAX is investigating in how far land use planning can take this into account, for example through setting a maximum of parking spaces instead of a required minimum in combination with Carsharing, or to subsidise housing projects in close proximity to public transport stops. Of course, many many European city centres are low car housing or even car free housing - in Venice 80.000 inhabitants live quite well without a car in the city.
In the following you'll find some of the newer developments.


EU project "Add Home"

The ADD HOME partnership performed an analysis for existing examples how Europe's cities deal with sustainable transport concerning housing areas and individuals' transport patterns. The examples found are covering car-free and low car housing examples, innovative ways of transportation offers and mobility services improving the capability and supply of inhabitants with alternative transport possibilities to private car use. The examples document a variety of possibilities like carsharing, on-demand public transport ideas, public space design, individual traffic management and comprehensive solutions of neighbourhoods integrating several measures and ideas on environmental friendly structures. Add Home has a large collection of low car housing examples.


Low car housing in the United Kingdom

Carfree UK was formed by a group of researchers, transport planners and environmental activists with the aim of promoting carfree development and its environmental, social, financial and health benefit. They believe that current circumstances make the UK ripe for carfree innovation: dense population, congested roads, growing pressure for more housing and a consensus, reflected in some Government policies, that planning should seek to intensify urban centres and restrain traffic growth.

On the website you can find about thirty examples of car free developments across London. One of them is the London borough of Camden. In this part of London the development of low car housing is encouraged in locations that are: easily accessible by public transport, near a range of amenities, including shops and leisure activities and within a controlled parking zone.


Car-free housing projects in Austria

One of Vienna's large and successful demonstration projects was enabled by a courageous initiative by a green city councillor followed by a change in legislation in 1996. The tenants of all 250 units had to sign a statement obliging them to comply with carfree rules. Developers no longer had to stick to the 1:1 rule, which obligates them to build one parking space for each accommodation unit. Enabled by this amendment the building promoter constructed parking facilities in the proportion of 1:10. The financial savings by not building a parking garage were used to create common facilities. To attract tenants and make them commit to the low car environment, several alternative means of transport were implemented, such as bike-ports, a bike workshop and convenient access for car-free everyday shopping. More in depth info can be found in the Add Home file - more pictures here.


Low car housing in Amsterdam

The GWL Terrain in Amsterdam is an example of a carfree-housing park. It's completed in early 1998 on a former water supply site, located 3 km from the city centre. It contains 600 dwelling units, half owner-occupied, half publicly subsidized housing. The tenants could subscribe (non-obligatory) a declaration of support for the low car nature of housing.
The 110 residential & 25 visitor parking spaces were distributed by lottery, and thus allow just 20% of the residents to own a car. Some of the residents had to sell their cars because they weren't able to get a parking space (the neighbourhood required on street parking permits).
The project leaders recommend getting rid of all parking for residents in any future projects to eliminate conflicts arising from this situation.


EU project "PRO.MOTION"

PRO.MOTION is a project within the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe programme of DG TREN. The aim is to facilitate energy efficient transport forms in the joint field of housing and mobility and to reduce the need for transport by providing services and facilities, which replace transport services. The main tasks of PRO.MOTION are implementing new applications, educating key players and disseminating the project's results.
PRO.MOTION wants to tell stakeholders in the field of housing and mobility about its actions, lessons learned and best practise examples. Therefore, PRO.MOTION offers national practical training units in 10 countries.


Good practise elsewhere in EU

Germany is a forerunner country in low car housing initiatives. Information about low car housing projects in Germany and beyond as well as many good links are on the carfree living homepage and the housing plus mobility homepage.
Our French partner CERTU has a brandnew trilingual website including a part on urban planning and housing.


Talked about

The price of oil is beyond $130 a barrel. Where will it stop?
An article on this in the Economist argues the price is not caused by speculation. Find out very interesting discussions about peak oil on "the oil drum" and the latest statistics on the pages of the International Energy Agency.
Meanwhile, a report on transport change from the European Environment Agency states that "To address transport demand, policy measures "must go beyond the transport sector itself and be introduced into sectors of the economy such as households, industry and services, within which the demand for transport actually originates". This fits in well with the theme of this e-update...


lept cedex Austrian Energy Agency
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