This is a micro-niche for the moment, but it is actually happening. The horse is coming back as an alternative, green transport option in some communities in France. Stéphane de Veyrac, quoted in a recent article in Le Monde, is currently working on a feasibility study for the Haras Nationaux, France’s state-funded equestrian body, to find ways to expand horse tranportation in urban areas. “In the new context which is emerging, an alternative energy source such as that of the horse becomes credible,” De Véyrac said. His current mission – part of a wider goal of the Haras Nationaux to promote horses in local development policies – is to come up with a “professional offer” of horse services to local officials which moves beyond the pastoral, nostalgic paradigm. He says that horses are perfectly adapted to waste collection over short distances with frequent stops as this suits the placid pace of the draught horse. The challenge is to integrate horse transportation into regular urban transport systems in places where, for example, the town centre is closed to vehicles. Horse-drawn buses have already been tested in Brest in Brittany and Beavais in the Oise and a number of small communes are currently using horsepower to bus young children to pre-schools.”The intelligence of the city is its ability to associate multiple complementary solutions,” he said.
via Le Monde