Monday, July 05, 2010

World Carfree Network: Moving Towards Carfree Cities

This is the fifteenth in a series of blog posts about recovering from the Gulf oil spill and from oil dependency overall. The first introduces the series.

I’m listed as an advisor to the World Carfree Network. It’s a group with a terrific mission: promoting carfree communities as a cornerstone of sustainable society, a goal that can do a terrific amount toward helping us recover from petroleum addiction and all its ill effects, including the Gulf oil disaster.

I have to admit I’ve been not-so-terrific as an advisor. Aside from a modicum of financial support and maybe a couple of occasions on which I did proffer actual advice, I have done very little in my advisory role. Fortunately, WCN has not needed my active assistance to persist, and for that I’m grateful.

An international network based in Europe, WCN serves as a carfree information clearinghouse. The group grew out of the organization Carbusters, and continues to publish the ground-breaking Carbusters magazine, a thoroughgoing collection of news and views about carfree issues, actions, events and communities around the world.

Every year or so, WCN also holds the seminal Towards Carfree Cities Conference. This year’s meeting, the Ninth (IX), just wrapped up in York, England. Titled “How Do We Get There?” the conference focused on various ways to bring carfree communities to life and included an actual carfree conversion of a commercial street for one evening. If you want to see how much fun carfree can be, check out this report on the street conversion and party that the Towards Carfree Cities Conference helped to organize.

WCN also coordinates World Carfree Day every September 22nd. Around the world on this day, communities host events to encourage people to get out of their cars. With World Carfree Day, WCN hopes to showcase how cities might look, feel and sound if they were carfree all the time. Turning more city spaces into carfree areas has great potential to help cut oil dependence and make cities better, healthier places.

The WCN website includes a slew of useful links and resources, including a Carfree Green Pages. It also archives information from past Towards Carfree Cities Conferences. Both Carbusters and WCN have pages on Facebook. For great advice about all things carfree, check them out!


  1. The concept of carfree day is getting popular day by day. It has been seen in almost every parts of the world. The main reason is to prevent from pollution for atleast a day

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  2. It's wonderful to see this idea take hold. Besides preventing pollution, carfree days are good for building community -- and they show how we can make cities and towns more livable on an ongoing basis.

    Thanks for the comment!