It all started in the 1990s in Fribourg-en-Brisgau, in south-western Germany, on a former military site, where a handful of associations were created to think about alternative energy. A few people cobbled together their own solar receptors, and very quickly the town took up the baton.
Today, Vauban counts 5,000 inhabitants whose carbon footprint borders on perfection: local production of heat, reliance on solar energy, low-consumption or even energy-positive homes (i.e. houses that produce more energy than they consume).
And everything is approached from the point of view of sharing: energy of course, but also with regards to the shared spaces and the related responsibilities. More than a philosophical ideal, it’s the start of a practical utopia – that of the city of tomorrow.