Berlin is considering something pretty radical. A grass roots movement called Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei, or the People’s Decision for Auto-Free Berlin, is trying to turn the entire core of the city into a car-free zone. (There would be some exceptions and so we should maybe call it primarily car free.)
The area in question is everything inside of the city’s circular S-Bahn train line (pictured above), which would make it the largest car-free zone or mostly car-free zone in the world. It’s larger than Manhattan and it’s about the size of London’s zones 1 and 2, to help give you a sense of the scale.
So far the group has collected about 50,000 supportive signatures and, according to Fast Company, the Senate of Berlin is set to make a decision on the proposal next month. I have no idea how much community and/or political momentum this actually has, but I love how bold of an idea this is.
Is it too bold?
Again, it is perhaps useful to flip the question and use Seth Godin’s status-quo-bias-checker model when thinking about this. If the center of Berlin was already car free and a community group had just come forward with a plan to now allow vehicles, how do you think you’d feel? I could see that being contentious.
Do you think Berlin should do it?
Image: City of Berlin via Fast Company