First Thoughts on Freiburg

Since I will be spending the next four months in land-locked Germany, my posts will be a bit more focused towards sustainability, rather than just water.

I have now been in Freiburg im Breisgau for over a week, and so far, I love my new city! It is the most outdoorsy city I have ever visited; the streets are designed for walkers and cyclists, with electric trams running frequently. Surrounded by mountains, not only is Freiburg beautiful, it is designed to respect nature, and all who live in the city.

  • In many places, bathrooms and hallways especially, the lights are off when nobody is there, and can be turned on for a certain amount of time before automatically switching off in order to conserve energy.
  • Solar panels are everywhere, on individual housing units, on the roofs of student housing, and placed on hills, just soaking up the sun.
  • Although water fountains are rare, plastic and glass bottles can be turned in for refunds (great incentive not to throw them out), and trash is sorted into papers, plastics, and organics.
  • There is a market in the city center every day (except Sunday), selling local fruits and vegetables, thereby reducing all pollution associated with importing produce

I am here to study the sustainability of this city, looking at how cities can be environmentally friendly as well as livable. Throughout my courses this semester, we will be looking at the aspects of the city that make it so sustainable, as well as spending time in nature exploring the Black Forest and the Swiss Alps. Even in my short time here, it is apparent that the people watch out for the environment, and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

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