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world carfree network

About the world carfree network

The World Carfree Network, is the hub of the global carfree movement, promoting alternatives to car dependence and automobile-based planning at the international level and working to reduce the human impact on the natural environment while improving the quality of life for all. is a clearinghouse of information from around the world on how to revitalise our towns and cities and create a sustainable future. In addition to serving the carfree movement, offers resources for architects, planners, teachers/professors, students, decision-makers and engaged citizens.

World Carfree Network grew out of the activities of Car Busters, an international organisation within the carfree movement founded in 1997. (The name Car Busters continues to be used for Car Busters magazine.) The network was formally launched at the Towards Carfree Cities IV conference in Berlin on July 23, 2004. Our goal is to build a more decentralised, structured network in which local, regional, national and international organisations take an active part. The network aims to provide a voice for its member organisations at the international level, and to create a framework for the organisations' international projects.

Several texts on explain this in more detail, while it should be emphasised that the network's development will be open and ever-evolving, based on the input of many.

Besides publishing Car Busters magazine and maintaining the website, World Carfree Network organises the Towards Carfree Cities conference and provides support for World Carfree Day. We also offer an online searchable database of over 300 organisations and the carfree_network discussion list.

More about our mission, aims and methods, can be found in our charter and statutes.

What is the Carfree Movement?

World Carfree Network uses the term "carfree movement" rather broadly, to refer to:

  • those promoting alternatives to car dependence and car culture, including alternative modes such as cycling, walking and public transport;
  • those promoting carfree lifestyle choices, within either a car-dependent, car-lite* or carfree local context;
  • those promoting the building of (usually mixed-use) carfree environments# on either brownfield or greenfield sites (usually sited to ensure easy access to a variety of non-automotive transport modes);
  • those promoting carfree days, using the events as tools to bring about long-term on-the-ground change in infrastructure and priorities (example: Bogota); and
  • those promoting the transformation of existing villages, towns and cities (or parts of them) into carfree environments.#

* Car-lite - Either a person or place that is not completely carfree, but uses or allows for a variety of alternative transport modes in addition to the car. (Car-lite environments tend to still devote at least half the street space to the automobile, with street widths usually similar to those in car-dependent environments.) The New Urbanists - an influential North American group of architects, developers and planners - are an example of people who promote and build car-lite environments, expressly stating that the automobile must be accommodated.

# Carfree environments - Places that do not accommodate (permit the entry of) automobiles. (An "environment" can be a an entire village, town or city; a portion of a village, town or city; or a place such as a resort, intentional community or university.) Some carfree environments allow motorised vehicles for deliveries and emergency services; other such places use non-motorised alternatives for some or all of these purposes, which is preferable if feasible. Some carfree environments have peripheral parking, and are thus still somewhat car-dependent; therefore solutions should be sought to avoid this. Some people take things a step further and work to encourage local use of local products, thus reducing the dependence of their carfree environment on long-distance goods transport and supporting the local economy over the transnational economy.

Last updated: Wednesday, April 19/2006