For at least three months beginning this coming summer, a south Berlin neighborhood will embark on a novel experiment: eliminating parking spaces, devoting the space usually reserved for cars to other uses like growing plants or providing recreation. Berlin, Germany, is trying to mold itself into a city where neighborhoods accommodate residents’ basic needs within walking distance and then connect those neighborhoods with affordable public transportation. While it is considered one of the world’s greenest cities and has a reputation for good public transit, safe cycling and walkability, the number of cars on Berlin’s streets has actually increased in recent years even as it has fallen in other major European cities.

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