Freiburg: From ‘Auto-City’ to ‘City of Short Distances’ (1945–2010)

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Business book series (BRIEFSBUSINESS)


In this chapter we analyse the sustainability transition pathway that made Freiburg an ‘Eco-city’ where the modal share of slow mobility is more than 50 % (pedestrians: 24 %; cycling: 28 %), and the car is less relevant (30 %). Through the sequential use of three ST-maps we are able to reconstruct the sustainability transition of Freiburg: from an emerging ‘Auto-city’, where private cars increase of importance (first ST-map: 1969), through a time of coexistence of four different systems (individual car, public transport, individual bicycle, walkability) (second ST-map: 1979), until the polarization in two systems: the individual car and the so-called ‘City of Short Distances’ (third ST-map: 2010). The reproduction of these two systems takes place at different scales: local actors support the ‘City of Short Distances’—which is today dominant in Freiburg—while national and international actors keep supporting the individual car.


Freiburg Car Urban mobility Network of innovators Sustainability transition Socio-technical map 



I wish to thank Prof. Daseking for his stimulating lecture within the course of Urban planning held at University of Rome “La Sapienza”, and for the following personal communications.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DiSEAUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.DICEAUniversity of Rome “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  3. 3.DIEMUniversity of GenovaGenoaItaly

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