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A town like Davis

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A town like Davis by Cristina Nuta -

Davis, near Sacramento, in California, has a population of sixty-four thousand. It also more bicycles than cars, as biking remains one of the more common types of transportation. Cyclists have right of way everywhere in the town, seventy kilometres of bike lanes all to themselves, and their own unit of specially trained cycle police. The American obsession with the motor car would seem to have been tamed, at least in this one corner of the USA. The fact that one hundred and fifty bicycles take up the same space as twenty cars means that they have been busily turning car-parks into green oases than the other way round.

As a university town, Davis has always had more than its fair share of bicycles- and of ecological awareness, too. It is home to the University of C alifornia's Faculty of Agriculture, and back in the early seventies, a group of students and local people got together to draw up a comprehensive environmental and social plan of action to steer Davis away from the terminal urban sprawl that afflicts so many other American cities.

Energy saving is at the top of this local agenda, and for years, the people from Davis have expected the Californian sun to be providing much of all their energy needs. In pursuit of this objective, the town council has introduced many regulations which are designed to keep energy use to the absolute minimum. Strict building standards are enforced and thousands of trees have been planted to discourage people from installing air-conditioning. The trees provide shade exactly where it is most needed. People in Davis even hang out their washing to dry instead of throwing it in the tumble dryer.

The size of building plots has been drastically reduced, so housing densities are high and there is enough room left over to make cheap allotments available to all flat owners without a garden. At forty square metres, one of these allotments can provide seventy per cent of all fruit and vegetables for a two-person household if properly managed. Organically managed, that is- for Davis is pretty much a pesticide-free town.

There are popular street markets twice a week where locally grown produce is bought and sold, giving everyone the chance to enjoy fresh food and to plough profits straight back into neighbouring farms.

To conclude, some would say that they preferred the big cities to a place like Davis, but still, many who have waited to head out of Davis, have returned here, as they believe it is the best place to raise a family.
A town like Davis written by Cristina Nuta for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: davis, california, sacramento



Category: Travel  - ( Travel Archive)

Date Added: 23 July '07


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