Sustainable model district Vauban

79100 Freiburg-Vauban: extended citizen participation through the Forum Vauban, car-free living, public transport, car sharing, mixed use, solar garage, local heating with CHP units, nature-oriented open space design, building biology and ecological materials. 40% of households live without their own car. The number of parking spaces for the entire quarter is 0.42 PkW/WE. Large-scale completion: 2012

The Vauban district is not a car-free district, but a car-reduced district. The traffic concept provides for a gradation from the surrounding, superordinate streets (50 km/h) to the main access road of the quarter, the Vauban-Allee with managed parking (30 km/h), the calmed residential streets without public parking spaces (walking speed) to the supplementary pedestrian/cycle path system and the pure pedestrian areas. The traffic-calmed residential streets are available for various open space uses, for recreation and for largely safe children's play.

Street Merzhauser Straße/ Vauban, Freiburg
Building type Apartment buildings and terraced houses
New construction, renovation New building on former barracks site
Form of ownership Condominiums, cooperative housing, rental apartments, commercial buildings
Location: Vauban lies in a scenic location at the exit of the Hexental, at the foot of Schönberg and Lorettoberg, in the direct vicinity of the municipality of Merzhausen.
Size 2,591 residential units.
Number of residents at the end of 2013: 5,661
Approx. 600 workplaces
  Area including SUSI and student union: 41 hectares
New construction area (excluding student union and SUSI): 34 hectares
(Source: Accessed 5/2018)
Completion Duration of the marketing of the plots: 1997-2012
Individual projects
on the Vauban site

Photo gallery 2019

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Photo gallery 2004

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Photo gallery 2004 Zero wastewater house "Living and working

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Photo gallery 2004 Genova

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Sustainability measuresA-DCBA level
Urban planning Mostly new buildings with multi-storey apartments. Approx. 600 jobs in buildings on the edge of the neighbourhood. Few mixed-use buildings. In 1994, the city of Freiburg launched an urban planning ideas competition, which was won by the office Kohlhoff u. Kohlhoff (Stuttgart).
Energy Low energy, passive house or plus energy house standard. Local heating with highly efficient woodchip CHP and solar systems, solar garage
Building materials Varying high proportion of building organic and ecological materials. Some wooden buildings.
Building Biology The planning office EMP / JEA, which stands for a healthy living construction method, has realised several building projects on the Vauban site:
Urban design for the "Quartier V8" with 120 residential units and commerce (18,000m² gross floor area)
Individual construction projects
- New residential and commercial building V6/V7 with 4750 m2 residential and commercial space. Completion: 2017
- Townhouse V10, 17 units for GisingerWohnbau GmbH. Completion: 2013
- Building group "maison.verte" Healthy passive house, 12 units with approx. 1400 sqm living space. Board stack concrete composite ceiling and a highly heat and sound insulated street façade in timber construction. Completion: 2012
- Townhouse V4, 10 units for GisingerWohnbau GmbH. Completion: 2011
Mobility "Living without your own car", mobility offers, CarSharing, new construction of the tram into the neighbourhood

Data on the number of car-free households
In 2009, 40% of households were 'car free' and 348 households were 'pitch free'.

Vauban: 191 cars/1,000 inhabitants (1)

For comparison:
City of Freiburg: 495 vehicles/1,000 inhabitants
Baden-Württenberg: 715/1,000 p.e.
Germany: 520 cars/1,000 inhabitants

Source (as of 1/2017; accessed 5/2018):

Water Rainwater infiltration, model project "zero wastewater house" in multi-storey residential buildings "working and living
Free space Natural open space design, partial roof and façade greening.
Economics The Vauban project has special status as an urban development measure under the Building Code and its own budget (EUR 85,000,000).
Construction costs Details for the "passive houses at the Dorfbach" in timber panel construction:
1,120 Euro/m² (without property, incl. cellar and VAT); heating requirement: 9.7 kWh/m²a
Source: Dörte Fuchs/Jutta Orth (2000): Bauen in der Gruppe. Cost-effective, innovative, ecological. Munich, p.22-25.
Socio-cultural aspects More than 50 central workshops have been held with residents. Around 40 community building projects (private building communities, cooperative living) have been realised to date and provide living space for around 1,200 people.
Stakeholders Interdepartmental "Vauban project group" under the leadership of the city planning office, municipal council, extended citizen participation through the "Forum Vauban" e.V., initiation of building groups (with pre-emptive right to purchase the plots), architectural firms, property developers, building cooperatives, student union, tenement house syndicate.
Contact Lectures: Carsten Sperling Contact
Student research project
(both pdfs internal only)
(1.4 MB), Unit (2 MB)
Publications Carsten Sperling (2016): Collaborative Planning and Mobility Concept of Freiburg-Vauban. PDF file (1,1 MB)

Ulrike Sommer, Carolin Wiechert (2014): Learning from Vauban. Ed.: Chair of Planning Theory and Urban Development at RWTH Aachen University.

Carsten Sperling (2013): No effect without risk. A report from Vauban/Freiburg. Rethinking Planning, Aachen

Film „Wohnen im Vauban“ Schulfilm-Verlag. Zielgruppe: Sek I, ab Klasse 9 (Teil 2 ab Klasse 7); Umweltgruppen. Laufzeit: 56 Minuten
Sprachfassung: Deutsch. 2011

Öko-Institut (2002): Nachhaltige Stadtteile auf innerstädtischen Konversionsflächen: Stoffstromanalyse als Bewertungsinstrument. [Case study urban district Vauban]. Freiburg

Sperling, Carsten/Öko-Institut Verlag (1999): Nachhaltige Stadtentwicklung beginnt im Quartier. A practical and ideas manual for urban planners, building communities, citizens' initiatives using the example of the social-ecological model district Freiburg-Vauban. Freiburg i.Br.

Difu (1996, 1997) Online Forum Urban Ecology

ILS (1998): Low-car urban neighbourhoods, Newsletter No. 11

All information from Carsten Sperling about Freiburg-Vauban:

External links
Numerous photos:

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 5. June 2021

Similar projects on sdg21:
All project/s of the planning office: ; City region: Freiburg and surrounding area; Country: Germany; Characteristics: 03 - 4 floors, Condominiums, Multi-storey housing, Rental apartments, Terraced house; Thematic: Car free living, CHP, Green roofs, Renewable, Wooden houses - a part of the settlement, Barracks conversion, Mix of uses, Rainwater infiltration, Free of parking spaces