Preparing your next Car Free Day: Check out the fundamentals.

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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.

velib-guyWhy 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.

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Answered: What’s Next for Carfree Times?

Carfree times - cover photo Issue 89 march 2018

Carfree Times #89, 19 March 2018 is now on line at

This issue contains the usual News Bits, but the focus is now exclusively on carfree cities (broadly interpreted), a change supported by nearly all correspondents.

This issue also includes a photo essay by Robin Bassett on Fes-al-Bali, Morocco.

 – J.H. Crawford. carfreecrawford@gmail.com

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ON LUUD SCHIMMELPENNINK – GREAT IDEAS HAVE WINGS

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.

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Jane Jacobs and a bunch of mothers

jane jacobs robert moses

Battle Royal: Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses

It was late Spring 1958 (as I best recall) in New York City when a young Eric Britton, just out of the US Army and about to dig into the Graduate Faculties of Columbia, was – as young men will do — checking out the action in Washington Square Park in the Village on a warm spring day. When he ran into two little kids wearing a sandwich sign saying something like “Save the Square!”. The kids handed me a pamphlet and explained that they were there to help their mother, who was just over there (they pointed).

And that was how I first met Mrs. Jane Jacobs, hard at work on an at-first very lonely effort to save this precious bit of NYC public space from the depredations of Robert Moses plan —  Moses was a high profile public official known as the “master builder” of mid-20th century New York City. His plan was to run an urban highway extension of Fifth Avenue over the concrete remains of what would once have been a beautiful and much used public park. It was clearly going to be a losing cause, but the lady over there decided to stick it out. And as she did others, unknowns and celebrities, gradually started to get behind her cause.

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Breaking the ice: Bogotá’s Beautiful Car Free Day

City and EcoPlan cooperate to create new model for sustainable transport in Third World cities

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In brief:  [1]

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What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform in your city in 2017?

Penang pedestrian is king

If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet,  all that space on the street, and  especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.

Let’s have a quick look. After some years of talking with cities, and working and observing in many different circumstances, here is my personal shortlist of the barriers most frequently encountered in trying to get innovative transportation reform programs off the ground, including even in cities that really do badly need a major mobility overhaul.

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