On a High Note: Berliners Push to Create World’s Largest Car-Free Urban Area
Berlin may just become home to the largest car-free area in the world. A citizen's movement called "Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei" (AKA the People's Decision for Auto Free Berlin) has been pushing to limit cars within the Ringbahn area of the city since 2019, and has just begun the legal process to make this vision a reality. Under the proposal, special permits will be given to some cars, including emergency vehicles or those belonging to residents with limited mobility, but for the most part, walking, biking, or public transit will become the main forms of transportation.
Nik Kaestner, another member of the movement, told Fast Company that in order to create an effective, climate-friendly public transport system without reliance on cars, Berlin must "rip the Band-Aid off," and create these conditions proactively, not eventually." The Berlin campaign could be a blueprint for similar movements in cities around the world.