October 22, 2010

Freiburg - The Sun At Last!

An absolutely gorgeous day.  The sun was shining and clear skies.  We walked along one of the many bike paths near the university.

We also took the tram to a very interesting area of Freiburg - Vauban.  (I did not take any pictures here - don't ask me why!)  The Vauban was built as a "sustainable model district" on the site of a former French military base, and is named after Sebastian Le Prestre de Vauban, the 17th century French Marshall who built fortifications in Freiburg while the region was under French rule.   Construction was begun in the mid-1990s and by 2001, 2000 peple had moved in.  All houses are built to a low energy consumption standard.  Some buildings are heated by burning wood chips while other have solar panels on the roof.  It is the first housing community world wide in which all the homes produce a positive energy balance.  The solar energy surplus is then sold back into the city's grid for a profit on every home.  Transportation in this area is primarily on foot or bicycle.  I hope to go back another day - this time with my camera!

I'm happy to say that my lecture to the students went very well.

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