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.
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 email@example.com
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Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
– William Butler Yeats
World Streets has from the beginning been intended to serve as a journal of record of the difficult world wide transition to sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. And as a lively world-wide partner, free resource and multi-faceted toolkit for concerned citizens and decision makers as they try to sort their way through the complexity and contradictions of bringing sustainable transport to our cities and their hard to serve hinterlands. Many of our seven thousand-plus signed-in readers will for the most part keep their eye on the latest articles as they appear.
But there are others — students, educators, researchers, consultants, those working in concerned government agencies, transporters and other suppliers to the sector, city planners, activists, civil society, journalists, citizens looking for international background on specific topics — who need to have quick access to what the site has to offer. Which, it turns out, is quite a lot. Let’s have a look.
This posting is intended for informal peer review and comment here on World Streets in the context of a new international collaborative program of New Mobility Master Classes in the making for 2018. The text that follows is taken directly from Chapter 3 of John Whitelegg’s well-received 2015 book Mobility A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future. We thank Professor Whitelegg for making these valuable materials available to our readers. Let’s have a look.
- Mobility, Death and Injury (Chapter 3.)
- Selected references
- About the authors
- Mobility: Table of Contents
- How to obtain the book
- Supporting materials from World Streets
- Supporting pages from FaceBook
- Reader comments
The term “refugee” if used in the context of transportation would normally be understood to mean “the movement of refugees”. But what we fail to comprehend is that for various reasons it is our own transport systems, and the values and decisions that shape them, that are making many of us “refugees” in our own cities? It does not have to be this way.