My seven months abroad have flown by–I can count the days on my fingers before I leave Freiburg, the mid-sized city in Southwest Germany. As I prepare to take my final exams and leave my Black Forest life, the farms to the northwest of town remain unscathed by the bulldozer’s touch. However, 2020 will see the start of construction for the new residential district of Dietenbach, planned to be built and ready for its first tenants by 2022. In my first blog post, I introduced this socio-ecological dilemma that has been taking place here: a debate between those seeking to preserve the nearby farmland and those in favor of construction to alleviate steep housing prices. In this post I explore the side of the issue in support of construction, examining what the positive aspects of a new city district are, and how Freiburg’s pro-Dietenbach residents present their argument.
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By Brendan Reilly
Activists around the world often find themselves advocating for initiatives and policies that will make their communities more livable and sustainable. But what happens when different progressive values animating such work come into conflict with each other? In the first installment of a three-part series for our Weaving the Streets series, Brendan Reilly reports from Freiburg, Germany on a local debate that pits affordable housing against the desire for “green living.”