|A doorway on Nymphenburger Strasse|
The sidewalks are divided to allow for cyclists and pedestrians of all ages. Today is Sunday so everyone is walking or cycling.
|A fun statue in a platz.|
|Berry bushes have been planted around the bike racks.|
Unfortunately, the larger community plan is not so pleasant. Our street is much like a speedway with no protected bicycle lane. Last year, after my return from Paris, I bought a nice "girl" bike but I am afraid to ride it. While I was walking today, I passed many different sorts of restaurants. I ate in a Bavarian one, of course, but I had many choices. At home, KFC, A&W, Little Caesar's Pizza are across the street. I could have a coffee in the Starbuck's in Safeway if I wanted to but I don't. My grocery choices are limited compared to those in this German suburb where every other store is "Bio". Germany seems to abound in massage, naturopathy and healthy products.
As schools and kindergartens are built within the Neuhausen neighbourhood, mothers walk their little ones to school. Traffic cones and parking issues play no role in the school life of this community. I passed many small parks where families were playing together. On a long week-end, only hotels and some restaurants are open. A visit to the mall is not a family outing.
One other thing that I noticed is that ground cover is used here more than grass lawns and public spaces looked a little untended by our standards but I think that this is probably more environmentally friendly.
|Statues of musicians decorated this building|
What it comes down to is urban planning and regulation. My parents bought half an acre of land in 1953. We lived in a little house until they could afford to build their new home. After the births of three children in four and a half years, our family moved into our new pink split-level. Our new house was small by today's standards with lots of flowers, vegetables and a field to play in. That house was demolished after about 25 years and apartments were built. Those apartments 30 years later are not considered very desirable and population density has changed considerably. They will probably be replaced with towers in the near future.
What we need for a healthy lifestyle is a walkable neighbourhood where most of our social, cultural
and retail needs can be met. After spending time in different countries of Europe, it seems to me that my own community has a long way to go.