The First Car Free Days Challenge: Toledo Spain, October 1994
Short History: Whereas Car Free Days have been organized in cities around the world all over the year for the last two decades, there is inevitably a spate of high activity in the month of September, much of it the result of the European Commission’s continuing commitment to both the concept of Car Free Days and their own European Mobility Week. And each year we here at World Streets dig into our archives and dust off one or two of the classics as a timely reminder of the fact that the Car Free Day concept has been around and doing its bit since the first international announcement and challenge was made in Toledo Spain on 19 October 1994.
Why do we bother to do this year after year? After all, there is copious documentation and background available at a click, as a quick tour of Google of those three little words yields somewhat more than 55,000 entries, including a fair if distinctly uneven introduction in the Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car-Free_Days. The problem is that most of this material seriously misses the point, and as a result often handicaps cities and groups wishing to organize a Day (a week or month close) to underestimate potential of this approach. The trick is that all of this is quite a simple as it may at first glance appear.
To this end, here we are once again minding the store with the original 1994 article announcing the concept, along with several others from our archives which would appear here in the coming days. A general reference which the reader may find of use is the general introduction which appears here – https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/car-free-days/. You will find at the end of this reposting, three separate annexes which provide supplemental background on (Annex A) New Mobility – 1988-1994 Program Summary; (B) Other Tools to Get the Job Done; and (C) a listing of more recent references.
And just in case you may not happen to know . . . back in early 2005, the City of Lyon, in close partnership with the firm JCDecaux (street furniture, outdoor advertising) , got together in a lively partnership and for the first time ever in a city anywhere on the planet decided to dump a couple of thousand “public bikes” onto the streets of a city, keep them working and see what happens. And they never looked back.
MAP SHOWING LOCATION, DENSITY OF CYCLING PATHS IN EUROPE.
Invaluable for tourism, leisure and sports cycling. And for many of us our daily (sustainable) mobility.
Walkability is a crucial first step in creating sustainable transportation in an urban environment. Effectively understanding and measuring the complex ecology of walkability has proven challenging for many organizations and governments, given the various levels of policy-making and implementation involved.
In the past, Western and Eurocentric standards have permeated measurement attempts and have included data collection practices that are too complicated to have utility in many parts of the world or at a level beyond that of the neighborhood. In order to expand the measurement of walkability to more places and to promote a better understanding of walkability, ITDP has developed Pedestrians First.
This tool will facilitate the understanding and the measurement of the features that promote walkability in urban environments around the world at multiple levels. With a better global understanding of walkability, and more consistent and frequent measurement of the walkability of urban environments, decision-makers will be empowered to enact policies that create more walkable urban areas.
* Source: https://www.itdp.org/publication/walkability-tool/
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About the editor:
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Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight-Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh, @ericbritton. @worldstreets and firstname.lastname@example.org
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World Streets is proposing to support the nomination of the prolific Dutch environmentalist, industrial designer, provocateur Ludd Schimmelpennink for a major international environmental award for his life-time contributions to sustainable development, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. (Our timetable for this submittal gives us one week from today, 10 November, to finalise the nomination.)
We invite the readers of World Streets to have a look and, if you will, get back to us with your suggestions to (a) edit, expand and improve the nomination whose draft follows. And once you have had a look and thought about it, you are invited to join us in supporting this unusual nomination. If so, it would be great to have your name, position and organisation( if any), city and country. And should you wish to add some brief remarks (less than 50 words max.), please do and our earnest editor will do his best.