Kirchzarten, Germany: this town is small. Population 10,000. It is big enough and old enough to have its own “main street” town centre that is viable and attractive. It is also close enough to Freiburg and Basel that it is in their commuter shed, and is connected by frequent regional rail services.
The town is growing, and has its “new section”. Not way out in a field, but snuggled up close to the existing town. Roads and paths continue from old areas into the new. Kids still walk to school; others cycle to the banhof or walk to shop “the main drag”.
The new section looks like houses, but on closer inspection was all apartments or stacked townhouses, built in the European style much different from that in Ottawa.
Sometimes the houses sat inelegantly on their lots:
The quality of the public realm was astonishing (to me), just look as the street paving, which encourages play and social interaction, the calming islands, and trees planted in the middle of the roads:
Intersection brickwork like in the picture above is strictly forbidden in Ottawa, as it might “confuse” the motorist, who must surely be of limited brain in Canada’s capital.
Despite the traffic calming and landscaping, the new “suburbs” looked and felt different from the old town (above). More apartment-y, and even with underground parking, the area seemed more dominated by cars …
Barrhaven this was not.