Ask today’s young people if they would want to live in a “more sustainable world” and most would respond, “Yes”. But what would this “sustainable world” look like? How, specifically, could we all live more sustainably?
Our School Trips to Freiburg offer groups of students aged 14 to 20 the unique educational opportunity to discuss questions like these as they explore some of the famous urban projects and citizens’ initiatives that make the German city of Freiburg a global pioneer in sustainable living.
Freiburg is sunny and cheerful university town, situated at the foot of the Black Forest’s wooded slopes, with a picturesque Altstadt of cobblestone lanes and café-rimmed plazas.
More important, Freiburg is widely regarded today as a model for reconciling “soft” ecology and “hard” economics. Here, environmental policy, solar technology, civic involvement in sustainable urban development and climate protection have become drivers for economic growth and key elements of the city’s identity.
Thanks to Freiburg’s international reputations in fields, such as solar technology, transport policy and others, thousands of visitors from around 45 nations arrive every year. Nowhere else are there more pilot projects, more extensive “green” expertise and more sociocultural experience to engage with.
Our School Trips to Freiburg offer a bespoke programme of activities, often including:
- Guided tours by public transport, bicycle or on foot
- Presentations by experts from Freiburg’s green economy
- Meetings and interviews with local stakeholders
- Technical visits to facilities such as solar installations
- Workshops to build on and expand upon the field trips
- Excursions to the Black Forest and Freiburg’s hinterland
Discovering Freiburg: a great choice of topics
We offer programmes and activities for a variety of topics and issues, which allows us to tailor your school’s trip to your specific needs and interests. Examples:
- Eco-districts: During our visits to the creative eco-districts Vauban and Riesefeld the students will discover zero-energy houses, both large and small, learn how citizens designed their own neighbourhood and experience what it is like for families to live entirely without cars.
- Integrated mobility: Managing the ever-increasing traffic is one of the greatest challenges facing all cities. Freiburg’s integrated urban transport policy dates back to the 1960s and created a city featuring a uniquely low density of cars of only 428 vehicles per 1,000 residents.
- Renewable energy: Visits to the famous Solar Stadium or neighbourhood co-generation power plants running on wood chips provide fascinating insights into some of the many projects working toward the ambitious goal of making Freiburg a climate-neutral city by 2050.
- Low-energy buildings: Private households and public buildings consume a large part of our energy. Visits to concept building and best practices such as the world’s most energy-efficient 4-star hotel will encourage passionate discussions about using energy more efficiently and economical.
- Organic agriculture: Today’s cities need to import from distant locations to provide food for their inhabitants. Students will visit and debate about some of the many creative methods developed by Freiburg’s eco-producers to promote more local and regional consumption. Highlights include citizens’ “carrotmobs”, an innovative public stock system and a local currency.
- Nature: Freiburg’s “green lungs” are a vital part of the city’s sustainability concept. A great variety of educational resources are available, including the “Naturschule” (Nature School) and the beautiful “WaldHaus” (Forest House). Of course, there are also plenty of opportunities for trips to the Black Forest.
- Civic Participation: Citizens’ initiatives of all kinds thrive in Freiburg. Prominent examples include neighbourhood building groups, urban gardens, participatory city planning. Visiting these initiatives provides students with a unique chance to discuss the trials and challenges of civic activism with people at the forefront of specific initiatives and possibly be inspired to someday become active proponents for a more sustainable lifestyle themselves.
How to get there
Freiburg is located in South-West Germany, close to the borders with France and Switzerland. There are excellent connections to the airports of Basel (via shuttle bus) and Frankfurt (via train). Both offer daily flights to many British airports. For a more sustainable trip, book a train connection with the Eurostar and TGV from London to Freiburg (about 7 hours, changing in Paris).