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Car-Loving Germans On The Road To Giving Up Their Wheels

Strongest among the under-30s, the trend of Germans renouncing car ownership has touched all age groups. Autos are increasingly a practical choice rather than status symbol.

Berlin: where autos and public transport meet (Susa Tom)
Berlin: where autos and public transport meet (Susa Tom)

Worldcrunch NEWS BITES


BERLIN - Cars are playing ever less of a central role in the way young Germans script their lives. "They pack less of a punch as status symbols," says Andreas Knie of the Berlin Innovation Center for Mobility and Social Change. "The attitude towards cars and mobility is getting much more matter-of-fact.""

Knie, who spoke at the "Safe Car of Tomorrow"" symposium in Berlin, an event hosted by the German Traffic Safety Council, says that people increasingly make the conscious decision not to own a car.

The numbers tell the story. In 2000, in Germany, 510 out of every 1000 people aged 18 to 29 owned their own car. By 2015 that figure will have decreased to 335 out of every 1000 young adults. For those aged 30 to 39, by comparison, car ownership in 2000 stood at 870 per 1000; in 2015 the number is expected to be 785.

Public transportation, instead, is increasingly important for younger people, says Knie, who wants to find solutions to future mobility issues that optimize links between car manufacturers, energy providers and public transportation networks.

Read the full article in German by Klaus Lockschen

photo - Susa Tom

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Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

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