Car-Free Planning

Reducing Automobile Travel at Particular Times and Places


TDM Encyclopedia

Victoria Transport Policy Institute


Updated 15 May 2014

This chapter describes planning strategies to reduce automobile travel at particular times and places, and to create pedestrian oriented streets.




Car-Free Planning involves designing particular areas for minimal automobile use.


·         Developing urban districts (such as a downtown or residential neighborhood) where personal automobiles are unnecessary and automobile traffic is restricted. Such restrictions can be part- or full-time, and often include exceptions for delivery vehicles, taxis, and vehicles for people with disabilities.


·         Housing developments where residents are discouraged from owning private cars.


·         Pedestrian-oriented commercial streets where driving is discouraged or prohibited.


·         Resorts and parks that encourage or require non-automotive access.


·         Car-free days and car-free events.


·         Temporary restrictions on driving, such as during an air pollution emergencies or a major sport event that would otherwise create excessive traffic problems.



Pedestrian-Oriented Commercial Areas

Pedestrianized commercial districts can support urban revitalization and economic development, although they must be carefully implemented to be effective (West 1990; Robertson 1990; “Pedestrian Malls,” Wikipedia). They can help create a lively and friendly environment that attracts residents and visitors (Rodriguez 2010). Some are closed to motor vehicle traffic altogether, at least during certain time periods such as evenings or weekends, while others allow automobile traffic but use Traffic Calming design strategies to control traffic speeds and volumes (Boyd 1998). Success varies depending on specific conditions. Many pedestrian-only commercial streets created during the 1970s in North American towns and cities failed to attract customers, and many were subsequently reopened to automobile travel. However, some pedestrian-only streets succeeded, particularly in Resort communities or as part of appropriate downtown redevelopment (Rodriguez 2010; Tolley 2011).


Retail areas often subsidize vehicle parking on the assumption that customers need to drive to make large purchases. This may sometimes be true, but not always. Many cities find that a significant portion of shoppers arrive without a car and those who arrive by alternative modes are good shoppers. A study of Prince Street (Schaller Consulting 2006), a commercial street in SoHo, New York City found that:  



Similarly, a study of downtown San Francisco shoppers that found less than one-fifth drive to shop, and that they spend less money in aggregate than shoppers using other transportation modes (Bent 2006). The study indicates drivers spend more each trip than transit riders, but visit less often and account for far fewer total visits and therefore spend less in total. Walkers average eight downtown shopping trips a month, spending $36 per trip and $291 per month. Motorists average four downtown shopping trips a month, spending $88 per trip and $259 per month. Transit riders average seven shopping trips per month, spending $40 per trip and $274 per month. Overall, 60% of shoppers arrive by public transit, 20% arrive by walking, 19% by automobile and 1% by bicycle, yet downtown merchants surveyed in the study estimated that 90% of their customers arrive by car.


A survey performed in Seattle neighborhood business districts (SDOT 2011) found that only 3-20% of residents drive to local shops. Most residents (61%+) either walk or take transit to get to neighborhood districts. Most residents identified their local neighborhood district as their primary neighborhood for shopping and dining. Convenience is the top reason for choosing a particular mode of travel. A study of consumer expenditures in British towns found that customers who walk actually spend more than those who drive, and transit and car travelers spend about the same amounts.


Table 1            Consumer Expenditure by Mode (Accent Marketing & Research)


Weekly Expenditures





On foot




Other (taxi, cycle...)


This survey found higher weekly expenditures by consumers who travel by walking than those who drive or rider transit to downtown shopping districts in the UK.



Business and residents should be involved in planning and managing pedestrian commercial streets. Often, a downtown business organization or Transportation Management Association will oversee Streetscape development, as well as parking management and promotion activities. Below are recommended guidelines for creating a successful pedestrian commercial street or district:

·         Pedestrian streets are only successful in areas that are attractive and lively. They require a critical mass of users. They should serve as both a destination and a thoroughfare by forming a natural connection route between diverse attractions (housing, shops, offices, etc.).

·         Develop a pleasant environment, with greenery, shade and rain covers. Use brick, block pavement or textured cement instead of asphalt, if possible. Street-level building features and street furniture should be pedestrian scale and attractive. Minimize blank building walls.

·         Encourage the development of diverse pedestrian-oriented activities that attract a broad range of customers and clients, including retail and commercial services, housing and employment. Apartments and offices can often be located over shops.

·         Allow motor vehicles as required for access, with appropriate restrictions based on need, time and vehicle type. This may include unrestricted motor vehicle traffic during morning hours, transit and HOV vehicles, pickup and drop-off for residents and hotels, service and emergency vehicles, or other categories deemed appropriate.

·         Pedestrian streets should have good access to public transit and parking. They should be located in pedestrian-friendly areas. Mid-block walkways and buildings open to through public traffic should be developed and enhanced as much as possible.

·         Develop a variety of artistic, cultural and recreational amenities (statues, fountains, playgrounds) and activities (concerts, fairs, markets). Highlight historical features.

·         Pedestrian streets should generally be small and short, typically just a few blocks in length, although this may increase over time if appropriate.

·         Security, cleanliness and physical maintenance standards must be high.

·         Vehicle traffic on cross-streets should be slowed or restricted.



How it is Implemented

Car-Free Planning can be implemented through municipal planning or through development of a particular project (such as an urban housing complex). Car-free Commercial Centers are often part of a downtown plan or community renewal efforts. Special restrictions on personal automobile use can be implemented by local or regional governments.



Travel Impacts

Travel impacts vary depending on how Car-Free Planning is implemented. Car-free programs that only apply over a small area or during limited time periods generally have modest impacts. They may simply shift vehicle traffic to other locations and times. Larger scale Car-Free Planning implemented with other TDM strategies may cause significant travel impacts if it makes travel alternatives more attractive and helps change overall travel habits.


Car-free housing in suitable locations and supported with Carsharing services can result in major reductions in per capita vehicle travel compared with the same residents living in conventional development (Beatley, 2000).


Car-Free Planning can be integrated with land use management, such as Smart Growth, Traffic Calming, and Transit-Oriented Development, which can significantly reduce vehicle travel as described in the Land Use Impacts on Transport chapter.


Table 2                        Travel Impact Summary


Small Area

Large Area

Reduces total traffic.



Reduces peak period traffic.



Shifts peak to off-peak periods.



Shifts automobile travel to alternative modes.



Improves access, reduces the need for travel.



Increased ridesharing.



Increased public transit.



Increased cycling.



Increased walking.



Increased Telework.



Reduced freight traffic.



Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Benefits And Costs

Comprehensive Car-Free Planning that reduces total automobile travel can provide many benefits, including increased community Livability, reduced congestion, road and parking facility cost savings, reduced pollution, increased road safety, increased consumer savings and transportation options, more Accessible land use and increased local economic development. In several case studies, reducing vehicle traffic speeds and improving walking conditions in a community significantly increased retail sales and property values (LGC, 2001). Residents of areas that are less Automobile Dependent can save hundreds of dollars a year in transportation costs (McCann, 2000), and enjoy safety and health benefits (Safety Impacts of TDM). Small-scale Car-Free Planning that shifts some vehicle travel to other areas has mixed impacts, including increased traffic and parking congestion at border areas.


Costs include administrative expenses (e.g., posting signs, installing barricades, enforcing rules), increased travel costs for motorists, and reduced convenience for people who are forced to shift from driving to other modes. Ineffective pedestrianized commercial streets (i.e., those that do not attract sufficient visitors) can reduce business activity. Car-Free Planning may result in some customers, residents and businesses moving to areas that do not have such restrictions.


Table 3                        Benefit Summary


Small Area

Large Area


Congestion Reduction



Reduces automobile use.

Road & Parking Savings



Reduces automobile use.

Consumer Savings



Reduces automobile costs, but increases other costs.

Transport Choice



Reduces motorists’ choice, but improves alternatives.

Road Safety



Reduces automobile use.

Environmental Protection



Reduces automobile use.

Efficient Land Use



Reduces automobile use, but may shift travel to other areas.

Community Livability



Reduces vehicle traffic impacts.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.



Equity Impacts

Equity impacts vary depending on how Car-free Plans are implemented. Restrictions may be considered unfair if they particularly burden some groups. Car-Free Planning can increase horizontal equity by reducing the external costs motor vehicle traffic imposes on others, particularly on pedestrians and cyclists. People who are economically, physically or socially disadvantaged are better off from improved walking, bicycling and transit conditions, particularly if regulations include special exemptions for vehicles used by people with special needs.


Table 4                        Equity Summary


Small Area

Large Area


Treats everybody equally.



Is more burdensome to some people than others.

Individuals bear the costs they impose.



Reduces automobile externalities (crashes, parking, etc.)

Progressive with respect to income.



Benefits non-drivers, who tend to be lower income.

Benefits transportation disadvantaged.



Benefits non-drivers.

Improves basic mobility.



Improves alternative modes and emergency response.

Rating from 3 (very beneficial) to –3 (very harmful). A 0 indicates no impact or mixed impacts.




Car-Free Planning tends to be most feasible and accepted in urban areas with good travel alternatives (transit, cycling and walking) and peripheral automobile parking. It is particularly appropriate in high-density areas, and resort communities with unique social and environmental amenities.


Table 5                        Application Summary





Large urban region.


Federal government.


High-density, urban.


State/provincial government.


Medium-density, urban/suburban.


Regional government.




Municipal/local government.


Low-density, rural.


Business Associations/TMA.


Commercial center.


Individual business.


Residential neighborhood.




Resort/recreation area.


Neighborhood association.






Ratings range from 0 (not appropriate) to 3 (very appropriate).




Policy Reform and Incentive to Reduce Driving.



Relationships With Other TDM Strategies

Car-Free Planning supports and is supported by most other TDM strategies, particularly Managing Nonmotorized Facilities, Traffic Calming, Transit Improvements, Nonmotorized Transport Improvements, Complete Streets Policies, Universal Design, Carsharing, Smart Growth, and Parking Management. Some Location Efficient Housing is Carfree. It is a type of Vehicle Use Restriction.




Car-Free Planning is implemented primarily by local governments. Some Car-Free facilities are constructed by private developers. International Car-Free Planning is being promoted by the European Commission’s Car-Free Cities Coordination Office and the Carfree Cities Network (



Barriers To Implementation

Major barriers include resistance from public officials, businesses, residents and motorists who dislike restrictions on driving and are skeptical of benefits. Many people are unfamiliar with successful Car-Free Planning projects. Transportation agencies may resist restrictions on driving, since it contradicts their traditional objectives.


When the city of Oxford introduced plans to restrict motor vehicle traffic in the downtown area, negative publicity by some merchants opposed to the plan gave many residents exaggerated fears about the difficulty of accessing the city ( For example, many people were led to believe that automobiles would not be allowed to access stores, while in truth only through (i.e., cross-town) vehicle traffic was restricted, cars were allowed on all city streets except for a pedestrianized area in the city center. Although vehicle access restrictions reduced some types of city center business activity (such as retail of bulk goods), it increased others (such as retail of specialized goods, food services and tourist activities). Shops on one pedestrianized street experienced a 20% increase in business after the change.



Street Design Guidelines

Below are planning and design principles to help build healthy communities and streets, based on Dan Burden’s 2001 Distinguished Lecture at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.


·         Build for everyone. Apply Complete Streets policies which recognize that roadways often serve diverse functions including through travel, recreational walking, socializing, vending, and nearby living, which must be considered and balanced in roadway design and management.

·         Create many linkages. Develop a well-connected street network that offers multiple routes and modes to destinations. Add special walking and cycling linkages where possible (for example, mid-block walkways and paths that connect deadend streets).

·         Make sidewalks that are comfortable, and streets that are easy to cross.

·         Build narrow streets and compact intersections. This makes it easier for pedestrians to cross.

·         Keep urban traffic dispersed, low speed and moving.

·         Build green streets that include trees and boulevards.

·         Provide ADA access (Universal Design).

·         Build public space. Recognize that streets are primary component of the public realm, where people can interact and build community.

·         Build with proper size and scale. Scale for people, not just for cars.

·         Encourage diversity. Provide mixed uses and mixed incomes within a community. Create a maximum number of activities within walking distance of each neighborhood.



Best Practices

To be successful, Car-Free Planning must be comprehensive. Simply closing off a street or neighborhood to automobile traffic may be unsuccessful if other factors are not supportive. Car-Free Planning requires that residents, businesses and public officials support the concept, and that it can implement it effectively. It also requires adequate travel options and supportive land use practices. Some specific recommendations are listed below.


·         Car-Free Planning should be comprehensive, including improvements in transit service, pedestrian and cycling conditions, urban environmental conditions, and implementation of other TDM strategies, in conjunction with restrictions on automobile use.


·         Car-free planning must take into account the mobility needs of people and businesses that currently depend on driving.


·         Stakeholders should be involved in Car-Free Planning, including residents and businesses.


·         It is important to avoid letting the public develop an exaggerated sense of the difficulty they might experience traveling to Car-Free areas. Information must be provided to users concerning where and when vehicle traffic is restricted, and the transportation options that are available.


·         It is often best to implement Car-Free Planning features on a part-time or temporary basis, and expand the program gradually.


·         Car-Free Planning should include parking and land use management.


·         Public greenspace should be available within a five-minute walk throughout Car-free areas.


·         Freight Transport Management is an important component of Car-Free Planning, including provisions for bulk deliveries to businesses, and from retail businesses to customers’ home.



Wit and Humor

Upon leaving a tavern late one evening, Max and Joe found that they had locked their keys inside their car.

After pondering the situation for a while Max suggested, “Let's try to open it with a coat hanger.”

“No,” answered Joe, “people will think we're trying to break in.”

Max thought a moment and said “Then let's call a tow truck. They can usually open a locked car door.”

“No,” said Joe, “people will see that we locked our keys in the car and think that we're really stupid.”

“Well,” said Max, “we'd better think of something fast. It's starting to rain and the sunroof is open!”




Case Studies and Examples

UK In Town Without My Car!

The UK Department for Transport has sponsored the a program called “In Town Without My Car!” which supports car-free days in cities and towns. The DFT has produced a “In Town Without My Car! Good Practices Guide” which describes how to organize such events, and describes numerous successful case studies  ( Public opinion surveys of both people who participate and car drivers indicate strong public support of this program after the events occur (



European Cities Limit Cars

Many European cities prohibit personal automobile travel in the city core (Lennard and Lennard, 1995; The city of Amsterdam is implementing programs to significantly reduce automobile use through a combination of restrictions on parking and road access matched with improvements in pedestrian, cycling and public transit services (Lemmers, 1995). This program was endorsed by a public referendum and will be phased in over several years.



Italian Cities Implement Car-free Days (

(AP, January 16, 2000) Milanese took to bicycles, skates and their own feet on a carless Sunday to fight pollution. Some 600 traffic police were stationed at intersections to make sure the few drivers who ventured out were among the exceptions to the ban. Those exempt included doctors and diplomats.


Some smaller cities near Milan, including lakeside Como, which is usually clogged with cars on Sunday, also declared Sunday as carless day. Starting in February, several other Italian cities will hold carless Sundays once a month in an effort to reduce pollution levels and encourage citizens to use public transportation instead of their own vehicle. Milan and Como will also limit car use this Monday. The city of Venice, Italy has always been Car-free.



London - It May Be Home, But You Can't Park Here: Could You Live Without Your Car? Pedestrian-only Schemes are on the March

Time of London, April 13, 2002


HOW would you feel if you had to choose between your home and your car? It’s a dilemma that is likely to become increasingly common for homebuyers.


One recent example is a development of flats about to go on sale in Camden, North London, which comes with its own bureaucratic roadblock. The spacious, competitively priced flats do not have off-street parking, and their leases will include a clause forbidding residents from applying for parking permits in the borough. Similar schemes are being launched in other London boroughs and in Surrey.


For some people this will sound like paradise a first step back to the comparative calm that our Victorian ancestors enjoyed in their streets. Others, however, see the car ban as tantamount to an attack on their human rights.


Noel De Keyzer, a director of the agents FPDSavills, is selling the flats and is outraged. “We will have to reduce the price of the flats by at least 20 per cent because most people will not consider giving up their car,” he says. “The new residents will have a good case if they take this to the European Commission as a breach of their human rights. They will be paying council tax, so why shouldn’t they have the right to own a car like everybody else in the borough?”


Many urban planners and environmental groups disagree. Roger Higman, the transport campaigner for Friends of the Earth, says we must address the dominance of cars in residential areas.


“In Holland, Germany and France it is normal to have reduced-traffic zones around houses,” he says. “Across the Atlantic it is culturally the opposite and, in some American states, children are banned from playing in the street. We have to decide which route we want to follow.”


In The Netherlands, the Woonerf is a popular scheme that translates as “living street”. Under Dutch law pedestrians have priority in these areas and drivers must reduce their speed almost to walking pace.


In Fairfax, Northern Virginia in the US, the city council has ruled that no playing is allowed on public roads. Officials remove illegal basketball hoops from the pavements and police are summoned to break up street games such as football and skateboarding.


Graham Smith, a senior lecturer in urban design at Oxford Brookes University, feels we are in danger of following the American way. “London is still fairly sensible because it is so congested that car travel is suppressed,” he says. “But elsewhere in the UK the majority of new homes are built in cul-de-sac pods off major roads and pedestrians are considered inconvenient.”


Parts of Britain, however, are following the European example. Fourteen local authorities are piloting “home zone” projects and a further 61 have been announced. These are similar to the Dutch living streets and involve a street or a group of streets being redesigned to meet the interests of pedestrians and cyclists rather than motorists. The zones introduce traffic-calming features, play areas and benches.


One of the earliest pilot schemes is the Methleys in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, a neighbourhood of 294 terraced and back-to-back houses. Because the properties are so close together the only play areas are the streets themselves. In 1996 the residents voted to participate as a test case for the home zone scheme. The community hit the headlines several years ago when they turfed over one of the streets for a weekend.


“We wanted to create an environment that drivers would perceive as different, without the need for road signs.” said Adrian Sinclair, a founder member of the project. “We planted trees and shrubs to soften and mark out the area and resurfaced the central street with brick patterns that residents designed.


“People can still drive through, but they have to negotiate curvy, wiggly spaces and it means that they usually end up driving at between 10mph and 15mph.”


Six years on, the project is proving a success. The area is conducive to cycling and walking, neighbours are communicating more and the children play on the streets. The Methleys has become a highly desirable place to live.


Twenty residents have also joined a pilot car-share scheme. They have two vehicles, and members can book their driving slot and pay only for the time and mileage they use. Sinclair believes that even on this small scale, car-pooling has reduced the need for seven extra cars on the road.


“We have about four meetings a year and get together once a month to weed around the shrubs,” he says. “We also hold litter-picking-up Olympics, which have been a huge success. Our community is not perfect though, and we do still sometimes have to shout at the kids in the street. The difference in our neighbourhood is that we usually know the names of the children we are telling off.”



Hasselt, Belgium

(CNN, 2000) 68,000 people live in the Belgium town of Hasselt; another 200,000 people commute in and out every day. Faced with rising debt and traffic congestion, the mayor decided to abandon plans to build a third ring road around the town. Instead, he closed one of the two existing ring roads, planted trees in its place, laid more pedestrian walkways and cycle tracks, increased the frequency and quality of the bus service, and announced that public transport would be free of charge.


A year later the use of public transport has increased by a staggering 800%. The merchants are happy because business has increased; there are fewer accidents, fewer road casualties and there has been an increase in social activity. The same day that the town made the buses free, they also slashed local taxes – the habitants of Hasselt are now paying less than they were 10 years ago. More people are attracted to Hasselt because it is easier to get there, and the extra income has reduced the local taxes. One of the reasons the measure was adopted was a shortage of funds - the city did not have enough money to expand its roads. Free buses were a cheaper alternative, and it worked. The city had been slowly losing population, but since the new measures were adopted, the population has been rising 25 times faster than it was shrinking. Hasselt has been showered with international awards and prizes for the innovative way it has tackled congestion and pollution.



Bogota Car Free Day ( and in English

The city of Bogota, Columbia first established an official Car Free Day on February 24th, 2000, organized by Mayor Enrique Peñalosa and The Commons, an international environmental organization. This was one of the first Car Free days organized in a developing country. The event was successful and highly popular, and as a result the organizers won the prestigious Stockholm Challenge Award ( Below is the mayor’s summary:


“It was a formidable achievement of Bogata’s citizens. A city of seven million inhabitants functioned well without cars. This exercise allowed us to catch a glimpse of what must be the transportation system of the city in ten or fifteen years: an excellent public transportation system and rush hours without cars.


Most important of all, was the sense of community that was present that day. We fortified our confidence in our capacity of making great collective efforts to build a more sustainable and happier city. Surveys revealed that 87% of the citizens were in agreement with the Car Free Day; 89% did not have any difficulty with the transportation system used; 92% said there was no absenteeism at their office, school or university; and 88% said they would like to have another Car Free Day.


Now we want to bring a referendum to our voters, proposing a goal for the year 2015: Between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., all cars must be off the streets. Therefore the city should move exclusively in public transport and bicycles.



European Car Free Day (

Ten local authorities in Britain, including five London boroughs (Camden, Lambeth, Merton, Southwark and Sutton) are participating in European Car Free Day In Town, Without My Car! on 22nd September 2000, closing town centre streets to motor traffic.


This follows the success of the In Town, Without My Car! day held in 1999, when 66 French cities and 92 Italian cities participated. Car-free areas were established in large parts of city centres, enabling people to discover their home town on foot, by bicycle or public transport. Paris closed down some 40 miles of roads to motor traffic, and people simply could not believe how tranquil their cities could be without cars for a few hours. 22 million people participated in the campaign and over 85 % want it to be regularly repeated. 44% of Paris residents said they wanted a car free day every week!


European Car Free Day is intended to give people the opportunity to experience the benefits that traffic reduction can bring to their own town and city centres. It is co-ordinated in Britain by the Environmental Transport Association, a motoring organisation which campaigns for greener transport. The ETA also operates Britain's first and only recovery service for cyclists.



European Cities Clean Up Urban Transport (

BRUSSELS, Belgium, July 16, 2001 (ENS) - The European Commission has today revealed the names of the 14 EU pilot cities which will benefit from 50 million euros in funding to implement radical improvements of their urban transport systems. The aim is to promote the development of attractive alternatives to the use of private cars in cities.


The cities taking part in the pilot projects will combat congestion and pollution through technologies and measures that make energy part of urban transport policy by enhancing energy efficiency and the use of clean fuels.


“Only new approaches will enable us to deal successfully with the growth in pollution and congestion caused by transport in cities. The Commission is happy to provide financial support for pilot cities that wish to show the effectiveness of integrated action,” said Loyola de Palacio, vice president of the Commission who is responsible for energy and transport.


Following a call for proposals launched by the Commission last October under the Civitas Initiative, 32 proposals for projects were received from 74 cities. These projects have been evaluated by an independent panel of assessors, and 14 cities, now forming eight consortia, have been shortlisted: Aalborg, Barcelona, Berlin, Bremen, Bristol, Cork, Gothenburg, Graz, Lille, Nantes, Rome, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Winchester. Five cities in the applicants for accession countries are also associated: Bucharest, Gdynia, Kaunas, Pécs and Prague. The European Union will provide 35 percent of the funding for the projects proposed by the pilot cities and the cities themselves will provide the rest.


As part of the initiative, Rome, Italy will create the largest operational access control zone in Europe. The city will promote electric scooters and will provide on-street recharging facilities. Improving traffic light management to reduce pollution in the inner city area is part of the plan.


Bristol, England will develop a Clean Zone access strategy, limiting car access to the city center, as will most of the pilot cities. There will be controlled parking zones, a road pricing access management system, and company mobility plans, marketing, and travel awareness campaigns.


In Sweden, Stockholm is introducing innovative measures for urban freight distribution, such as establishing a logistic center that will co-ordinate the deliveries of construction material to a new housing district of 8,000 new apartments. It is expected that this measure will halve the entrance of heavy vehicles into the area from 700 to 350 per day.


Graz, Austria is converting the entire city bus fleet and 60 percent of the taxi fleet to bio-diesel operation. Biodiesel is a vegetable oil based fuel that is, renewable, less polluting and can be used in petroleum diesel engines without engine modification. Graz is also implementing environmentally based prices for parking, where polluting vehicles pay higher fees.


In Berlin a pool of cars powered by natural gas will be available to the city government and municipal organizations during the day as company cars. Outside regular working hours, the cars are available to private persons within the framework of a car sharing system. Most of the pilot cities are implementing large scale introduction of clean fuel buses that run on compressed natural gas or biodiesel.


In the past, support for such initiatives has been uncoordinated. But it has now been shown that packages of such measures have been able to solve the problems of congestion and pollution caused by urban transport.


Through these pioneering efforts on the part of the cities concerned, it will be possible to show the usefulness of each of these measures and the best way of combining them on a large scale. The results will be independently assessed and will form the basis of a guide on best practice for use by other cities. On the basis of this first experiment, the European Commission intends to relaunch the initiative in 2003 and to continue working on urban transport with the cities concerned.



Carfree Design Manual (Reviewed by Todd Litman)

Different types of book serve different purposes. Philosophy books encourage readers to consider new ideas and perspectives, design manuals provide practical guidance, and coffee table books are beautiful and inspiring to read. Some books achieve all of these purposes.


Like many designers and planners, I was influenced significantly by the book, A Pattern Language (Alexander, et al. 1977), a wonderful book which integrates design philosophy with practical advice with beautiful drawings and photos. A new book, Carfree Design Manual (Crawford 2009) builds on this tradition. J.H. Crawford has long been a proponent of carfree planning: he wrote the book Carfree Cities in 2000, and maintains the website.


Crawford’s new book provides detailed discussion of carfree design concepts, that is, why carfree communities are desirable for economic, social and environmental reasons; their historic context; and the principles by which they can be implemented. His analysis begins with the most general concepts and works down to economic and engineering details, such as how to design communities (involve users), the best method to allocate land (use the Internet to allow households to bid for the properties that best reflect their preferences for location and building type), to where to locate utility lines (bury them). Many of his ideas are insightful and well argued, although he may provide too much incidental detail for many readers.


Crawford is a designer’s designer, so every detail of the book is carefully thought out and explained. It contains many hundreds of illustrations and photos, many by Crawford himself, others based on his extensive collection of old postcards with photos of street scenes, urban skylines and buildings. These images are used to considerable advantage, described and discussed in the text to illustrate concepts and tell stories.


Crawford draws extensively from previous urban designers, particularly Christopher Alexander (including The Pattern Language and his more recent series, The Nature of Order). He explores patterns related to building, street and neighborhood design.


Crawford’s ideal is based on medieval European cities, particularly Venice and Italian hilltowns, and many other urban communities that developed prior to automobiles and elevators and so have walkable boulevards radiating from plazas; four- to six-story buildings with housing above commercial constructed around central courtyards; and abundant civic amenities including neighborhood parks and local markets. To these he adds high quality rail transit systems, an efficient freight distribution system, and state-of-the-art underground utilities.


Planning practitioners should find plenty of inspiration in the book, but are likely to be frustrated by the lack of practical guidance for dealing with common planning problems. Crawford has strong opinions: he insists on totally car free cities with only grudging respect for New Urbanism or any other incremental change. Much of his analysis assumes greenfield development: a parcel of land upon which a new neighborhood or entire city will be built, with management by a central authority that has virtually unlimited control. There is little guidance for planners in existing communities who may want to support incremental development toward more multi-modal, car-light neighborhoods.


There is plenty of evidence that many people do want to drive less, rely more on walking, cycling and public transit, and live in more walkable, mixed-use communities, the sort of traditional neighborhoods people associate older small towns; unfortunately, just the sort of towns that have often lost population and jobs due to centralization of employment and services. Ironically, the best current examples of these concepts in North America are totally artificial amusement parks, such as Disney World, which have very walkable streets, attractive (mostly) human scale buildings, convenient and attractive public transit, and underground utilities, but lack true community and diversity.


Despite these weaknesses I recommend the Carfree Design Manual, even for planning professionals not currently building car free cities, both as a stimulant for creative thinking and because it is a truly beautiful book.



Auto-Free Living in Vauban (Paul Geitner, The Associated Press, March 12, 2000)

FREIBURG, Germany - Lunchtime at the Vauban kindergarten, and parents start pulling up to pick up their children. But there's no convoy of minivans or station wagons. Despite a bitter cold wind, these moms and dads roll to the door on bicycles, helmets on their heads and pant legs wrapped with reflective bands. Not because their cars are in the shop, but because they're not welcome in the neighborhood.


The Vauban development - 280 new homes so far on a former military base - is Germany's biggest experiment in “auto-free living.” Once dismissed as an “eco-freak” fantasy, the concept is moving off the drawing board and winning real-world converts, even in the land of high-speed autobahns and the Volkswagen “people's car.”


“I simply like it better,” says Ruthild Haage-Rapp as she bundles two fidgeting 2-year-olds, Simon and Maria, into their seats in a green-and-pink trailer attached to her dusty bicycle. “The children can play in the street,” she says. “It's quiet. You can stand by your kitchen window without all the noise from the street. Then the inconvenience is worth it.”



Treasure Island Transportation Plan

The Treasure Island Transportation Plan enables the development of a uniquely sustainable new community in the San Francisco Bay Area. The redevelopment of Treasure Island, a former Navy base located in the bay of San Francisco, CA, USA, calls for the construction of 6,000 new homes supported by retail, hotel, open space and other uses. Firmly tethered to the transportation plan, the island’s land use plan calls for the dense development of the southwest corner of the island, around a central ferry and bus intermodal terminal. Every aspect of the proposed design facilitates convenient access by foot, bicycle and transit, and seeks to reduce the use of private cars for single-occupant trips both on and off Treasure Island. This has been accomplished by designing a dense, compact development pattern centered around an active ferry and intermodal transit hub and commercial center. The plan provides a range of benefits:



Whatever one’s mode of arrival to the island, it will be immediately clear that this is a community built around a western shore transit terminal center, which will serve as the arrival point, an activity hub, a source of identity and a distinctive architectural statement. The transit terminal complex will also include connections to the electric or alternative on-island shuttle, car share and bicycle lending facilities.


The development pattern is designed to facilitate walking and cycling for on-island trips and access to ferry and bus service for commuting. Hotel, retail, public and community uses are clustered around the ferry quay. About 90% of the homes proposed to be built on Treasure Island will be within a 12-minute walk of the transit hub. Streets will be designed to support a variety of travel modes at moderate to low speeds (between 15 and 25 mph) and a system of pedestrian-oriented tertiary streets will radiate from the terminal area into the surrounding districts. All non-residential parking will be decoupled from residential and visitor uses, enhancing Treasure Island's pedestrian character.


Sustainability is a key priority in the transportation plan.  The Treasure Island community is designed to allow residents access to essential services within a 12­minute walk, and pathways and streetscapes are designed to enhance the experience for pedestrians and cyclists. Because services and amenities are clustered at the ferry terminal, commuters, residents, and visitors will be able to take advantage of them when arriving or leaving the island, further reducing discretionary trips. All of these elements support a self-sufficient island community.



Buyukada Island (Garb, 2002)

Buyukada Island, a short ferry ride from Istanbul, has a year-round population of 17,000, which swells to a quarter of a million during the summer tourist season. Buyukada remains free of private motor vehicles. There are fewer than a dozen motor vehicles on the island, consisting of police vans, fair engines and a school minibus. Otherwise, residents and visitors rely on thousands of bicycles and 304 licensed horse-drawn carriages. The carriage hub is adjacent to the town’s central square, where passengers wait in line for a ride. “Almost everybody wants to keep things this way,” said Munir Hamamcioglu, a hotel owner and native Buyukadan. “To abolish the system would be like abolishing the Queen of England.”



How to Create a Pedestrian Mall

by Michelle Wallar, Culture Change, (, 2002.

Through many trials and quite a few errors, cities gradually established a standard protocol for creating pedestrian malls in their cities: The first step is generally to communicate with traders along potential car-free streets in order to educate them about other pedestrian malls and to build a working relationship in which concerns are easily addressed. Secondly, prior to any change in traffic patterns, data is gathered on numbers of window shoppers and actual customers, and then corresponded to times, days and weather conditions. This is followed by an experimental closure, usually during nice weather or Christmas, with parallel data being collected. Only then, if the results are positive, are steps generally taken towards extending the experiment; and if all goes well, making the closure permanent with landscaping and publicity.


Out of thirty-two German cities with pedestrian zones, none accomplished their vision in one step. They implemented their respective plans step-by-step. The common pattern was to shut down a congested area, then as public support grew and financial resources became available, individual foot-streets were connected to form a traffic-free zone. City planners learned a great deal from these initial street closures.


Planning the experimental closure is of utmost importance for a successful attempt. It is important to link public and private transport with pedestrian precincts. Streets cannot be too long nor too far from tram stops, railway halts or car parks. They also should not be so wide that meandering is not possible. These streets should not just be mere roads closed to traffic, but creatively transformed-paved with colorful bricks, lacking curbs and filled with greenery. Basic tools in the initial decision making process are traffic data and zoning plans. The cost can differ widely depending on size, location, need for new street equipment or additional transport facilities (i.e. improved public transport, ring roads, fringe car parks).


If you think that some type of pedestrian-only area would be an asset to your community, find like minded people and research these many success stories. Educate the community and build relationships among storefront managers/owners and pedestrian advocates. There is low risk to a business's profit with experimental closures although they allow the community to experience what it might be like to close a street to automobiles. Such experiments give everyone a more practical idea of what would and would not work with such a closure and also allow people to feel more comfortable with the potential change. Many street closures have been highly successful in the past, and perhaps your community will be the next success story.



Gartensiedlung Weißenburg (

Gartensiedlung Weißenburg will be the first residential area in North Rhine-Westphalia explicitly aimed at car free households. The initiative was started by the Federal State with the (urban development) competition “Living without an own car”.


The 3.8 ha area of the development with 156 flats and 40 terraced houses is located in Münster-Geist, 2.5 km south of the city centre. The neighbourhood will offer the possibility for car free households to profit directly from their mobility behaviour (reduced noise and pollution, enhanced quality of public space and improved traffic safety, lower recoupment charges for local public infrastructure). The project involves development and implementation of mobility management for the residential area.


These include the installation of a car-sharing-system, a rental station for transport bikes and trailers for children, large customer-discounts for public transport passes or the service station for bikes at the central station and improved bikes storage. A range of measures will help to simplify the daily car-free life: pocket timetables and timetable information in the entrance hall of the houses, delivery services and depots for goods delivery or a system of carts for the transport of goods within the neighbourhood. Special discounts on public transport, car sharing and the bike station are being considered.


This project is a case study for the European research and demonstration project MOST (“mobility management strategies for the next decades”), funded within the 5th framework programme of the European Commission, DG TREN.


An Urban Success Story: Octavia Boulevard An Asset To Post-Central Freeway Area

By John King, San Francicso Chronicle, January 3, 2007



In the 15 months since it opened, San Francisco's Octavia Boulevard has been hailed as a model for other cities. It has been honored at the local and national level, including an award last month from the American Planning Association.


But here's the real measure of success: The thoroughfare that replaced the elevated Central Freeway feels like it belongs. It's not perfect, but it keeps cars moving while making the neighborhood around it a better place to be. That's exactly what was promised on 9 Sept. 2005, when politicians and community members gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony where Octavia Boulevard begins on the north side of Market Street, across from broad ramps leading to and from Highway 101.


The event was the culmination of a long battle to rid Hayes Valley of the Central Freeway, a double-deck structure that opened in 1959. The freeway connected western San Francisco to the center of the city -- but it split apart the neighborhood below, creating blight and a magnet for crime.


The fight began in earnest in 1996, when the freeway was closed temporarily to strengthen it against earthquakes. Three years and four competing ballot measures later, San Francisco's government and the California Department of Transportation agreed to build a ground-level thoroughfare instead. That campaign is what brought last month's recognition from the American Planning Association, which gave Octavia Boulevard the group's first "achievement award for hard-won victories."


It also cleared the way for the roadway that now exists, a short boulevard that draws on pre-freeway-era traffic engineering. At the most basic level, the boulevard connects the ramps that touch down at Market Street with Oak and Fell streets a few blocks to the north. Those roads serve as the main east-west link between downtown San Francisco and the neighborhoods around Golden Gate Park . But the idea is also to make the boulevard an urbane centerpiece to the blocks around it.


Commuters use Octavia's four central lanes, two in each direction, separated by low shrubs and elm trees. On either side of the commute lanes – buffered by poplar trees and more shrubs – is a "local lane" for neighborhood traffic, one heading north and one heading south.


The final touch, on the northern block: a neighborhood square with picnic tables and a play structure, two small lawns and a paved area reserved for temporary art installations. Any driver who relies on the boulevard can testify it's not a panacea. The morning commute often backs onto Oak Street; in the evenings, northbound lanes clog to the extent that impatient drivers often hop onto the local lane.


Part of the problem is unavoidable: American drivers expect throughways to be designed for convenience and speed. Octavia's openness may invite impatient drivers to accelerate -- though that openness will fade as trees mature and housing rises on empty lots created by the freeway demolition. The confusion also results from decisions at the city level.


For starters, the local lanes are too alluring. They're wider than what was proposed by planners Allan Jacobs and Elizabeth Macdonald, who designed the boulevard in collaboration with city staff led by the Department of Public Works; they also lack any sort of rough texture or wide bumps that would send a tactile signal to slow down. It's a change worth making as soon as budget allows.


Another problem is unavoidable: the location. This is a short boulevard that starts at San Francisco's central artery, Market Street. There are bans on making turns from Market onto the freeway on-ramp and from the boulevard onto Market, but logic dictates otherwise. No wonder there's confusion and frayed tempers.


But congestion doesn't mean the system is a failure. It means the boulevard is filling a need; a six-month study by the city's Department of Parking and Traffic found it attracts 45,000 vehicles on a typical weekday. And for whatever reason, slow-moving traffic is more irritating when you're on a city street than when you're on a freeway.


A better way to gauge the boulevard's success involves the condition of the landscaping and public spaces. In other words, are they as enticing after real-life wear as they were on opening day? The heartening answer is yes. Shrubs are filling in. Trees are spreading out. It's easy to imagine thick bands of greenery in five years that offer visual screens and a true sense of place. The small park has blossomed as well. You'll see people with dogs and people with cell phones, shoppers passing through and locals settled on a bench with coffee and friends. A street person can be napping on a bench while kids clamber on the play structure, and life goes on.


Even here, though, not everything is idyllic. The patch of green next to the play structure is a natural place for toddlers to let off steam – but some dog owners treat it as a track and bathroom for their pets. In other words, Octavia Boulevard could be better. There's congestion on the roadway and tension at the park. But in both cases, the problems are a result of popularity. They're heavily used. The larger picture is this: Things work. Hayes Valley has a gathering place. The landscape is well-maintained. Traffic continues to flow.


Octavia Boulevard began as a beguiling idea. Today, it's a promise fulfilled. In a city like San Francisco, that's progress -- the good kind.



European Low Car(bon) Communities (

The report, Europe’s Vibrant New Low Car(bon) Communities (Foletta and Field 2011)  describes eight European communities that apply smart urban and transport planning to significantly reduce car ownership and vehicle travel rates. As a result these communities have less pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, public health issues and other negative externalities associated with driving.


These new developments use a combination of “push” measures to discourage private car use and “pull” measures to improve the attractiveness of walking, cycling, transit and various forms of shared vehicle use. As the report demonstrates, these measures work, and could be applied in other new developments around the world, particularly in abandoned industrial sites or on other previously developed land.

Each case study includes background information on the origins of the development and how these best practices were incorporated at early stages of the developments’ planning processes, before describing individual measures in more detail.

The top lessons learned from these case studies include:

1. Develop neighborhoods for walking and prioritize bicycling networks.

The majority of developments in the case studies provide direct, safe and comfortable walking and cycling routes, and plentiful covered cycle parking. They also use a technique called “filtered permability” to make travel by bicycle or foot more direct than by car, and locate bicycle parking closer to homes than car parking. This gives walking and cycling a competitive advantage over the car. Some are beginning to use bike sharing to encourage occasional bike use by visitors and residents alike.


2. Provide high-quality transit.

The transport in all of the case study areas is responsive to resident needs, and therefore has high mode share. Stops are within half a kilometer of every home, and service frequencies are at least every 15 minutes. Integration into the regional transit network and long service hours all make riding convenient while low-cost period passes keep it affordable. By optimizing conditions for walking, cycling and transit, living car-free becomes more realistic. Many developments also provide nearby carsharing locations to help residents feel more comfortable giving up their private cars.


3. Create compact regions with short commutes and zone new developments for mixed use. 

These case studies also suggest that new developments should be planned as closely as possible to existing job centers and other destinations. This makes investments in transit and cycling networks more efficient and effective. Mixed uses (housing, jobs, leisure facilities, shops, grocery stores, etc.) should be incorporated into new developments at site selection and master planning stage, to minimize travel distances, enabling residents to make routine trips on foot or by bicycle, with convenient public transportation offering a realistic alternative to the car.


4. Reduce driving by regulating parking and road use.
In addition to the nudges the urban design of these communities provide, many also use regulations to incentivize and in some cases mandate reduced car use, using a variety of techniques including placing stringent caps on car trip generation and CO2 emissions and relaxing parking minimums if other criteria to reduce car demand are met. In many of the cases, parking supply has been reduced and the parking that does exist is separated spatially and fiscally from housing units. In some cases the planners have also required developers to fund or build transportation infrastructure and services (including mobility management services) as a condition of site approval. Masterplanning competitions can foster further innovation in both the built environment and transportation planning.


5. Market sustainable transportation.
Many of these developments make ongoing efforts to reinforce their founding vision and to empower residents and visitors to make sustainable travel decisions by offering tailored mobility advice, running marketing and awareness campaigns, and through promotions such as free or discounted transit passes or car-sharing membership for new residents. Ongoing measures to encourage low-emission travel behavior are important to ensure the long-term transport sustainability of residents. Planners should consider whether the developers should be asked to fund these initiatives or if there are ways to create dedicated streams of revenue (e.g. by earmarking a portion of parking fees or outdoor advertising fees/space) to fund them over time.


6. Don’t forget the larger policy context.
Transportation policies at the city, regional and national levels play a key role in shaping daily travel behavior and residential locations in the longer-term. Congestion charges, citywide parking management policies, high fuel prices, and high quality transit all influence mode choice, reinforcing site-specific measures such as car-access restrictions, provision of high quality walking and cycling facilities and filtered permeability. All of the case study cities are served by national railroad systems, providing an alternative to the car for longer-distance journeys, thereby complementing measures to discourage car ownership and use in the local area.



Urban Highway Conversion Projects

The Congress for New Urbanism’s Highways to Boulevards program describes successful highway conversion projects in New York City, Portland, San Francisco (Embarcadero and Central Freeway), Milwaukee and Seoul, South Korea. In each of these cases, reducing road space improved the city’s livability and supported economic development without creating gridlock. The CNU’s Freeways Without Futures identifies ten North American urban highways with significant opportunity to replace aging urban highways with boulevards and other cost-saving urban alternatives.



Road Diets Support Local Economic Development (Burden and Lagerway 1999)

Several sets of roads in Florida (Atlantic Boulevard in Del Ray Beach, and another couplet of main street streets in West Palm Beach County) went on 4- to 3-lane and 4- to 2-lane reductions on the Main Street roads. In each case the businesses did much better once the roads were made more attractive and speeding was reduced. The Atlantic Beach treatment was so successful that it is being extended another 10 blocks.


In Ferndale, Michigan, a 4-lane was converted to a 2-lane on their very busy main street. Before the transition most businesses had either failed or were operating out of the alley.  Following the conversion there has been a major return of shoppers. The treatment is being extended.


Cities with Car Lite/Sustainable Transportation Initiatives (Orem 2000)









Munich - Riem

1373 acres

13,000 jobs

7,000 dwellings

Partially carfree

Area building started 1998

Carfree area started 1999


Munich - Kolumbusplatz

1 acre

40 of 75 dwellings carfree

Built 1996



No details found


No details found

“Community of interests for auto-free cure and tourist places”

Berlin - Panke

32 acres

600 dwellings, in carfree area

Tram, evening bus

car sharing with 0.15 parking ratio at edge

Waiting gov. ok

Sufficient investors

Hundreds of interested households

47% of Berlin households are carfree


Berlin - Treptow

Total development of 123 acres, 1400 dwellings

54 dwellings low car

Rail station, car sharing

0.18 parking ratio


Start construction 2001-02


Berlin - Tempelhof

No details found

Autofree design not permitted by jurisdiction


Berlin - Steglitz

No details found

Autofree design not permitted by jurisdiction

Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg

No details found

Autofree design not permitted by jurisdiction

Berlin - Marzahn

No details found

Autofree design not permitted by jurisdiction

Berlin -Friedrichshain/ -Lichtenberg

No details found

Autofree design not permitted by jurisdiction


No details found



Bonn - Vilich Mueldorf

50 acres

200 dwellings

Not yet committed

Bremen - Hollerland

6.4 acres

210 dwelling units, half rentals

0.2 parking ratio

4 miles from city center

In unemployment crisis - no construction/ no customers (only 4 commit)


Bremen - Grünenstrsse (Neustadt)

Less than 1 acre

23 dwellings

car sharing (no ownership)

diverse purchase possibilities, theatre, museums, Cafés, etc, in walking distance

Built 1995



1400 inhabitants and approx. 450 persons employed

Cars brought in just for loading/unloading purposes

Car owners rent parking bay in multi storied facility.

Planning stage



Still being research by VCD.

Estimates smaller development costs of 2DM/ sq meter.

Investigation requested through VCD (German Traffic Club)



No details found

Freiburg - Vauban

94 acres

2000 dwellings

Commercial included

600 jobs

Parking outside of area

Finished 1999

About half of dwellings are carfree green


Hamburg - Stadthaus Schlump

45 dwellings

0.5 parking ratio

Mixed-use concept with live-work arrangements

Completed mid-1990's green


Hamburg - Saarlandstrasse

5 acres in city center

220 dwellings (2/3 rent)


Construction in 2000

Halle - Johannesplatz

5 acres


In planning





University study project (as other, completed projects have been)





Under study


23 acres

55 dwellings, carfree

Parking for 5 visitors

Car sharing (2 cars)

Construction 1999



No details found

Koln (Cologne) - Westphalia



Market investigation, public participation 80% complete

Need to pick exact locations

Statute still requires 0.2 parking spaces per dwelling

Discussing contracts relating to residency and carfree



No details found

München -

Hauptbahnhof -

   Laim - Pasing

1560 qkm

7,300 dwellings

11,000 jobs

670 qkm open space

Ideal location for carfree

In design

Development plan in 2000


München - Waldmann-Stetten-Kaserne / Ackermannbogen / Olympiapark

100 acres

2250 dwellings

Detailed planning

No hard plans for carfree yet

Construction in 2002


München - Theresienhöhe

116 acres

1,800 dwellings

3,000-4,000 jobs

Car sharing nearby

No firm plans for carfree

Investors and public interested in carfree

Begin construction 2000


München - Riem

1373 acres

13,000 jobs

7,000 dwellings

Partially carfree

Area building started 1998

Carfree area started 1999


München - Kolumbusplatz

1 acre

40 of 75 dwellings carfree

Built 1996



9 acres

175 dwellings (subsidized)

51 houses

0.2 cars/dwelling


Construction start 2000, finish 2001

50% subscribed

Designed after European-wide architectural competition, with 227 designs submitted

North Sea Islands - Baltrum, Helgoland, Juist, Langeoog, Spiekeroog, Wangerooge, Sylt

No details found


“Sylt aiming to be a carless destination”

Nuernberg - Langwasser

1000 dwellings

Completed 1987



6 acres

100 dwellings

Planning group of 15 people

Prospective list of 100 people interested in the plan.



Details not found

Schlöben bei  Jena

Tubingen - Stuttgarter Strasse

148 acres, 1 mile from city center

6000 dwellings, carfree

Commercial, 0.7 parking ratio, multiple use (?)

Start construction 1995, complete 2006


[Station garden in Vohwinkel Pasture workstation and Dessauerstr. in Elberfeld Mohrenstr. In Oberbarmen]


Detailed market investigation (of 348) shows high latent demand over almost all sub-populations. Half would give up cars to move to [good] carfree area










Amsterdam - Westerpark

15 acres

300 owned, 300 rental

0.2 cars/dwelling

2 miles from city center

Commercial and office integrated at edge

6000 interested during planning

Completed 1998






No details found

“Camden has declared a clear zone region in the south of the borough. Within this region, we will introduce measures to encourage low pollution areas for living - including Car free housing - and work to improve the quality of life”


Edinburgh - Gorgie Goods Yards (aka,

Slateford Green?)

3.4 acres

26 owned, 94 rental

0.1 cars/dwelling

Completed 2000

80% of household heads < 45 years, environ. Aware green









4.5 acres of carfree

250 carfree rentals

0.1 parking ratio

4 miles from downtown Vienna


Started 1997

80% complete in 2/00

carfree >85% filled green






70,000 people, 30,000 dwellings

Carfree islands (canals!)

Rail and auto to mainland

Always carfree

In economic decline as city, heavily due to success as tourist spot.






Islands are populated, but carless

North America





No details found



Community activists

South America




Bogota, Columbia


Promoted “car free day”



References And Resources For More Information


Accent Marketing & Research (2004), Town Centres Survey, 2003-04, Transport for London (


Katie Alvord (2000), Divorce Your Car; Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile, New Society Publishing (


Mark Byrnes (2012), “The Uncertain Legacy of America's Pedestrian Malls,” Atlantic Cities (; at


Timothy Beatley (2000), “Taming the Auto: The Promise of Car-free Cities,” in Green Urbanism; Learning from European Cities, Island Press (


Elizabeth M Bent (2008), Modal Choices and Spending Patterns of Travelers to Downtown San Francisco: Impacts of Congestion Pricing on Retail Trade, San Francisco County Transportation Authority (


Ian Boyd (1998), “Pedestrian-Oriented Environments,” in Design and Safety of Pedestrian Facilities: A Recommended Practice of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, ITE (


Andrea Broaddus, Todd Litman and Gopinath Menon (2009), Training Document On "Transportation Demand Management, Sustainable Urban Transport Project ( and GTZ (


Dan Burden and Peter Lagerway (1999), Road Diets Free Millions for New Investment, Walkable Communities ( Discusses traffic calming on arterials.


Peter Calthorpe (1993), The Next American Metropolis: Ecology, Community, and the American Dream, Princeton Architectural Press.


Car Busters ( is an organization that encourages reduced automobile ownership and use.


Carfree Cities website (


Carfree City USA ( provides information on carfree promotion programs in the U.S.


Carfree Day ( provides information on how to organize a carfree day.


Carfree Day Website (


Carfree Housing Website (


City on the Move Institute ( supports the development of the cultures of urban mobility and of civilities, with particular attention to streetscape design and management.


CNU (2011), Highways to Boulevards, Congress for New Urbanism (; at Includes examples of successful urban highway conversion projects in New York City, Portland, San Francisco, Milwaukee and Seoul, South Korea


Complete Streets ( is a campaign to promote roadway designs that effectively accommodate multiple modes and support local planning objectives.


J.H. Crawford (2000), Carfree Cities; The Book, (


J.H. Crawford (2009), Carfree Design Manual, International Books ( This very attractive (it contains hundreds of photographs and drawings) comprehensive manual describes the theory and practice of carfree (and car-light) urban planning.


European Commission, Car-free Cities Coordination Office (


European Commission, Copenhagen Declaration (


David Engwicht (1999), Street Reclaiming; Creating Livable Streets and Vibrant Communities, New Society Publishers (


Nicole Foletta and Simon Field (2011), Europe’s Vibrant New Low Car(bon) Communities, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (; at


Yaakov Garb (2002), “The Islands That Refused to Motorize,” Sustainable Transport, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (, FAll, p. 23-28.


Brian Grover (2001), BC Car-Free; Exploring Southwestern British Columbia Without a Car, Whisky Jack Publishing (


Uwe Hoering (2001), Anumita Roychoudhury and Lopamudra Banerjee, “Owning the Road; Right of Way, When Roads Become an Extension of Living Rooms,” Down To Earth, Vol. 10, No. 4, Centre for Science and Environment (, 15 July 2001.


ITDP (2012), The End of a Life Cycle: Urban Highways Offer Cities New Opportunities for Revitalization, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (; at  Also see, The Life and Death of Urban Highways, at


Leo Lemmers (1995), “How Amsterdam Plans to Reduce Car Traffic,” World Transport Policy and Practice, Vol. 1, No. 1 (, pp. 25-28.


Suzanne Corwhurst Lennard & Henry Lennard (1995), Livable Cities Observed, Gondolier (Carmel).


LGC (2001), The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities, Local Government Commission (


Todd Litman (1999), “Exploring the Paradigm Shift Needed to Reconcile Transportation and Sustainability Objectives,” Transportation Research Record 1670, TRB (, pp. 8-12; at


Todd Litman and Felix Laube (1999), Automobile Dependency and Economic Development, VTPI (


Todd Litman, et al (2000), Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning; Guide to Best Practices, VTPI (


Living Streets Initiative ( is a campaign to create streets that give priority to walking, cycling and play.


Local Government Commission ( has a variety of useful resources for neighborhood planning including “Designing Safe Streets and Neighborhoods”, “The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities” and “Why People Don't Walk and What City Planners Can Do About It” fact sheets.


The Lyon Protocol; The Design And Implementation Of Large Car-free Districts In Existing Cities (, is a protocol for the design and implementation of Car-free cities.


Barbara McCann (2000), Driven to Spend; The Impact of Sprawl on Household Transportation Expenses, STPP (


Steven Melia (2010), Potential For Carfree Development In The UK, PhD dissertation,

University of the West of England, WHO Healthy Cities Collaborating Centre (; at


Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy (1999), Sustainability and Cities; Overcoming Automobile Dependency, Island Press (


K.S. Nesamani and Kaushik Deb (2001), “Private Vehicle Restraint Measures - Lessons for India,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Volume 7, Number 1 (, pp. 27-31.


Open Streets Project ( ) describes various initiatives that temporarily close streets to automobile traffic so people may use them for walking, bicycling, dancing, playing, and socializing.


Frank Orem (2000), Investigation of Car Lite Cities, Sierra Club Columbia Group.


“Pedestrian Malls,” Wikipedia (


Greg Ramsey (2009), Creating Car-Reduced and Car-Free Pedestrian Habitats, Planetizen Blog (


Luis Rodriguez (2010), Pedestrian-Only Shopping Streets Make Communities More Livable, Planetizen (; at


TravelSmart ( is a community-based program that encourages people to use alternatives to travelling in their private car.


Partners for Climate Protection, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (


Project for Public Spaces ( works to create and sustain public places that build communities. It provides a variety of resources for developing more livable communities.


Oscar Reutter (2003), “Local Mobility Management & Urban Renewal In Public-Private-Partnership - The Example Of The ‘Car Reduced Living In An Existing Residential Area At Johannesplatz In Halle/Saale’ Demonstration,” World Transport Policy & Practice, Vol. 9, No. 2, (


Kent Robertson (1990), “the Status of the Pedestrian Mall in American Downtowns,” Urban Affairs Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 2, December, pp. 250-273.


Road Busters ( is an organization that encourages reducing the amount of land paved for roads and parking facilities.


Schaller Consulting (2006), Curbing Cars: Shopping, Parking and Pedestrian Space in SoHo, Transportation Alternatives (; at


Jan Scheurer (1998), “Car-free Housing in European Cities; A New Approach to Sustainable Residential Development,” World Transport Policy and Practice Vol. 4, No 3, (


SDOT (2011), Neighborhood Business District Access Intercept Survey, Seattle Department of Transportation (; at


Rodney Tolley (2011), Good For Busine$$ - The Benefits Of Making Streets More Walking And Cycling Friendly, Heart Foundation South Australia (; at


Transportation for Livable Communities (


Walkable Communities ( helps create people-oriented environments.


Michelle Wallar (1998) “How to Create a Pedestrian Mall,” Auto Free Times #14, Culture Change (; at


Amanda West (1990), “Pedestrian Malls: How Successful Are They?” Main Street News (


Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads ( encourages reduced road building, particularly in wilderness areas.


Wohnen-Plus-Mobilitaet (, which means Housing Plus Mobility, is a website on car-free housing in Europe.


World Car/Free Days News Alerts (

World Car/Free Days Consortium ( 


Lloyd Wright (2005), “Car-Free Development,” module in the Sustainable Transport: A Sourcebook for Policy-makers in Developing Cities, published by the Sustainable Urban Transport Project – Asia (, Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (, and the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (; at

This Encyclopedia is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to help improve understanding of Transportation Demand Management. It is an ongoing project. Please send us your comments and suggestions for improvement.




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