I’ve been oogling the CarFree.com website now for about an hour. That’s got to mean something.
The site is dedicated to the idea of a living in car free communities. But rather than just complain and talk about it, they’ve put together droves of ideas about how we might go about doing that.
But, first the complaining … (From the Introduction):
The industrialized nations made a terrible mistake when they turned to the automobile as an instrument of improved urban mobility. The car brought with it major unanticipated consequences for urban life and has become a serious cause of environmental, social, and aesthetic problems in cities. The urban automobile:
- Kills street life
- Damages the social fabric of communities
- Isolates people
- Fosters suburban sprawl
- Endangers other street users
- Blots the city’s beauty
- Disturbs people with its noise
- Causes air pollution
- Slaughters thousands every year
- Exacerbates global warming
- Wastes energy and natural resources
- Impoverishes nations
The challenge is to remove cars and trucks from cities while at the same time improving mobility and reducing its total costs.
I don’t own a car. I do fine without it. But, I live in a city where that is possible. Portland is a remarkably progressive city when it comes to public transportation. But, it’s hardly perfect. And as American cities go, it’s about is good as they come.
As a boy I lived in Japan. I lived in Tokyo. Comparatively, Portland is a backwater.
The Website uses Venice, Italy as a model. Currently, Venice is the only car-free city on earth.
There’s a TON of cool info here.