Getting ready for Earth Car Free Day (in 2001)

From the Archives:

Back in March of 2001 a reporter from Grist Magazine got in touch with Eric Britton of EcoPlan’s long-standing World Car Free Day program for an interview concerning progress in the run-up for the first Earth Car Free Day, being jointly organized at the time in partnership with the Earth Day Network for a 19 April 2001 blast-off. The interview eventually morphed into a week-long series of articles and reflections on various aspects (real and imagined) of the Car Free Day push which you will find below. (For original articles click to Grist at http://grist.org/article/britton-earthcarfree/full/).

illegal taxi chinese destroy 1

 

Continue reading

World Car Free Day 2014: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme”

cropped-indnesia-bandugn-gils-cross-walki.jpg

Celebrating Bandung’s Car Free Day. Known as “We shot Bandung” Credit: Ikhlasyl Amal.

At a terrible time in the history of mankind, I propose to you this photograph as a message of hope and a silent clue to a better, sweeter future for all. . . agreeing as I do with the poet Louis Aragon when he wrote so long ago: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme” (“Woman is the Future of Mankind”).

What about this? Let’s get together, you and, I to see what we can do about making this the universal theme of World Car Free Day this year . . .  in as many cities and countries around the world as we can.  One city at a time.

Your turn!

Continue reading

World Car Free Days Collaborative (update)

wcfds update - banner

Lyon, France. 13 May 2014

Dear Reader,

Please note that this WCFD website is part of a greater whole, and largely that what you find here traces back to a time when this website served as the “Journal of Record” of EcoPlan’s long term World Car Free Days project, which continues to this day. It is semi-conveniently divided into two parts, as follows:

- – >  Link to site here

Continue reading

Accessing World Car Free Days Online

Over the last week we have been hard at work preparing our sources on Car Free Days planning as we do each year. Yesterday’s piece on “Car Free Days Planning and Implementation” provides a summary of this shared resource base. the following  map identifies reader hits over the last week by location.

map-wcfd-10may14

Continue reading

A Bit More on Car Free Days Planning and Implementation

car early ladies policemanNot to bury you in an enormous amount of materials and references, however if you are interested in finding out what is going on at the leading edge (and at times the lagging edge) of these strategies for reducing the number and negative impacts of cars in cities, here are some useful references based on our work in the field since 1994 .

Continue reading

2014: The Battle of Ideas

Challenging year ahead. Here are the main program areas to which we intend to give attention over the complex systems networkcourse of the year ahead. All of these are complex system challenges and require patient attention and mental flexibility if we are to find the best way to proceed in each case. And in each case it is not enough to be right in terms of the basic principles — it is every bit as important to be able to communicate them and to convince the public, government and other key actors that these ideas and approaches are worth getting behind. Nobody ever said that the move to sustainable transport and sustainable cities was going to be simple.

Continue reading

Transforming transport in Penang – and the earlier the better

Transport in Penang (and all around the world for that matter) relies on non-renewable sources of energy. Think 20 cars with one person in each vehicle, versus one bus with 20 passengers. The former creates traffic jams and worsens pollution to detract from the overall liveability of a city. It is often argued that supplying more roads only creates more demand for their usage. With 10,000 more vehicles added to Penang’s roads each month [1], we will have to commit ourselves soon to a decision to enhance sustainable transport.

Think City Bhd invited Prof Eric Britton, managing director of EcoPlan International in Paris, founder of World Car Free Days and longtime advocate of sustainable transport initiatives, to Penang with the purpose of studying the transport system, meeting stakeholders and hosting a series of events to come up with ideas and a new perspective for transportation improvements across the state. Thus, Sustainable Penang: Towards a New Mobility was arranged as a two-week itinerary that featured 11 focus group discussions, three master classes, a lecture, a symposium and dialogues with MPPP, MPSP and the Penang Transport Council.

Malaysia Penang heavy traffic in GT

Continue reading

CFDs: Get the nose of the camel under the tent.

Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the road and think about it

Once a year in mid-summer we wind up the World Car Free Day Collaborative site at www.worldcarfreedays.com as we have done yearly for the last 15 years to get it ready to serve as an information source and contact tool for cities and others who are considering events in the second half of the year.  Most notably among these the numerous Car Free Day events are those that tend to cluster around the end of September, including the annual European Mobility Week and its multitude of CFDs, most but not all of which in Europe, which you can check out for yourself at http://www.mobilityweek.eu/home/. Continue reading

What happened with Kampala’s first-ever Car Free Day in 2011

It started like a dream, and became a reality. After the long awaited workshop in April this year, some major steps have been taken so far in Kampala. By the end of the workshop which was organized and financed by Kampala Capital City Authority in association with Goudappel Coffeng, Goudappel Africa and Iganga Foundation, a pilot project was prepared by the same partners. With its artistic impressions, Kampala looked like a heavenly city, with the people friendly infrastructure in place. Continue reading

Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei: Part III

Upon my return to Paris after a ten-day stint in Taiwan working with local colleagues in support of several on-going collaborative city projects there, and in particular in support of this year’s 10th anniversary Car Free Day program in Taipei City, I received the following letter from the Commissioner of Transportation commenting on their follow-up and plans for the year ahead. (Note: For the first part of this report, click here.) It is highly satisfying to see this steady expansion and achievement when it comes to innovation in support of more people-oriented initiatives and services. If you are looking for a good example from Asia, we suggest that you consider putting Taipei on your list.

Continue reading

Op-Ed: A divine solution for Car Free Days?

One of the sayings we use most often at World Streets is one that goes “you can never tell where the next good idea is going to come from”. Here is an example.

As some of our readers certainly know, we have something of an affinity with the concept of Car Free Days — which we nonetheless attempt to qualify with ample doses of realism and critical thinking (often sadly lacking). So as luck would have it we end up being something of a worldwide turnstile for news and views about how this or that concept of taking a few cars off the streets of the city and thinking about it for a day is treated in different places. Sometimes this can bring surprises.

Continue reading

Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City: Part I

Your editor was kindly invited by Mayor Hau Lung-pin to come to Taipei City this year to discuss preparations for the celebration of the city’s tenth successive Car Free Day — and as part of this collaborative brainstorming process to draw on my experience of some seventeen years working with this, one hopes, transformative transportation approach in different cities around the world.  The presentation is in three parts:

* Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City: Part I – This introduction

Part II – Keynote Address

Part III: Letter and comments from Jason Lin,  Commissioner of Transportation, City of Taipei

Continue reading

Towards Carfree Cities X: What happened in Guadalajara from 3 to 10 September 2011?

From the Editor’s Desk:
This year’s World Carfree Network Conference was organized by the dynamic and fast growing city of Guadalajara, under the title Towards Carfree Cities (Hacia ciudades libres de autos), and with the support and management of two local activist groups, Ciudad Para Todos and GDL en Bici. I was invited to provide the opening keynote address on the topic of “Better Cities with a Lot Fewer Cars”, to kick off a weeklong festival of events, discussions, and presentations in the context of their program.  My chosen themes were (a) deep democracy and (b) the need for immediate action.  I was wonderfully received and learned a lot during my busy week with them. Continue reading

Towards Car Free Cities. Guadalajara, Mexico, 5-9 Sept. 2011

The time to move towards carfree cities has come. We must come from the cities that we don´t know to the ones we belong to. Step by step moving onto the right way. To make a call up, to share this view and to open our own mind in order to have a better future for all of us, to find better ways to transport ourselves in a conscious way. It´s time to move on. Continue reading

Car Free Day in Vilnius. Finally a mayor who really cares.

Have a nice day

Here is a rough chronology showing how information gets around in the world-wide sustainable transport network in 2011. Last Monday, 1 August, someone named (whom we do not know but whom we definitely like and who by all indications lives in Lithuania), uploaded a 104 second video onto YouTube with commentary in Lithuanian, showing a dynamic mayor dealing directly with the classic sustainable transport problem of illegally parked cars encumbering circulation in designated bike lanes in the capital city of Vilnius. That was the first stop on a lightning journey around the world that in a few days brings us here. Continue reading

Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the street and think about it.

Mid-year 2011 update at World Car Free Days
Here you have a quick update of the materials and sources available on the topic from the World Car Free Days Consortium and several other key sources.

Continue reading

Día sin Coches en Bogotá XI : Carlosfelipe Pardo reporting live from the street on occasion of the city’s 11th Car Free Day

This just in from our fearless embedded reporter on the streets of Bogotá Día sin coches XI. Carlos refers in his email to the seminal project which kicked off the basic structure for organizing days without cars back in 1994 under the title “Thursday: A Breakthrough Strategy for Reducing Car Dependence in Cities” . Later Thursday provided a part of the blueprint for the first Car Free Day to be organized in Bogotá under the exceptional leadership of then-mayor Enrique Penalosa on the first Thursday of the new millennium. You can download Thursday here. Continue reading

For your next Car Free Day, go on a diet.

“When it comes to transport, we’ve become obese. I mean this in multiple senses. Our population of vehicles has burgeoned; already around 1 billion worldwide, it’s expected to double within just 20 years. The vehicle miles we travel, or VMT, continue to swell; just in the U.S., for instance, VMT now fluctuates around 250 billion per month – trillions per year – and grows each month by an average 200 million more. Even our waistlines have expanded due to excess motor vehicle travel; one study attributes six extra pounds to the extra driving done by typical suburbanites.” Continue reading

Car Free Days 2014: Part 2. Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities

This is the full unedited text of the original 18 October 1994 presentation to the Ciudades Accesibles Congress in Toledo Spain organized by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works, Transport and the Environment, with the participation of Leber/EcoPlan International, Car Free Cities Initiative of the EuroCities program and the Direction General XI of the Commission of European Communities. Continue reading

Car Free Days I: Origins, Timeline, Progress

“Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the street and think about it.”
Here is how the Car Free Days movement got started and has taken shape over the last 16 years.  This is the first of a series of two articles which we update and post annually just prior to the September rush to get the latest batch of Car Free Day projects off the ground. We hope that these pieces and the references you find here are going to prove useful to those responsible for making a success of their Days in 2010. Getting a CFD right and making it a real success is no easy task and good knowledge of what has worked and not worked in the past should be useful. Continue reading

World Carfree Day: Interview with Eric Britton

September 22 is an important date to remember – it’s World Carfree Day (WCD). Celebrated in towns and cities all over the world, it’s a day when streets are closed to cars and open for pedestrians, pedalers, parties and pleasure. Eric Britton, a sustainability activist, international adviser and consultant on sustainable transportation, is recognised for his work promoting and propelling WCD to  international attention. Much of his work involves co-ordinating the collaborative New Mobility Agenda and World Streets online journal, which encompass a number of possible transport solutions, including public transport, bike sharing and shared space projects. In an interview with Carbusters, Eric shared his thoughts about the problems, popularity and prospects for WCD, and points out the importance of bringing it into the policy agenda of governments in order to improve urban transport sustainability.

Continue reading

Kaohsiung Car Free Days and a Green Transport Program: Low-carbon, high-amenity transport, one city at a time

With mounting visible evidence of the reality and extremely high cost of climate change, people in Taiwan increasingly feel the importance of being a part of the earth. And the city of Kaohsiung,  Taiwan’s second largest city, has decided to do something about it.


Continue reading

Car Free Days 2. Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities

This is the full unedited text of the 18 October 1994 presentation by Eric Britton to the Ciudades Accesibles ws-ebpush-small-bwCongress in Toledo Spain  organized by the Spanish Ministry of Public Works, Transport and the Environment, with the participation of Car Free Cities Initiative of the EuroCities program and the Direction General XI of the Commission of European Communities.

Continue reading