- Introduction - Charter - Statutes - Steering Committee - Advisory Board - Member Organisations - Logos - Volunteer Opportunities
Who We Are
World Carfree Network is the hub of the global carfree movement, which promotes alternatives to car dependence and automobile-based planning, and works to improve quality of life for all.
The idea is to build a decentralised, structured network in which anyone agreeing with the goals of the network can take an active part. The network aims to provide a voice for its members at the international level, and to create a framework for its members' international projects.
The network grew out of the activities of Carbusters, an international organisation within the carfree movement founded in 1997 (the name Carbusters continues to be used for Carbusters Online.)
More about our mission, aims and methods, can be found in our Charter and Statutes.
What We Do
The network runs many projects, all of which are listed and described on our Projects page. Some of these are run by the network's Steering Committee volunteers and former staff of WCN Europe. Others are coordinated in a decentralised manner by Network members. Others still, such as the Towards Carfree Cities conference series, function by consensus between the Network and one or more local partners.
World Carfree Network's active projects include:
- World Carfree Network Website and resources
- World Carfree News monthly e-bulletin
- Carbusters Online
- The Towards Carfree Cities conference series
- The promotion of World Carfree Day
- World Carfree Network Resource Centre
- Carfree Green Pages online directory
- Carfree_Network discussion list
About the Website
Worldcarfree.net is a clearinghouse of information from around the world on how to revitalise our towns and cities and create a sustainable future. It is based on the premise that efforts to build high-quality, livable human settlements should not attempt to accommodate the automobile - for both social and environmental reasons, as explained in the network's charter. In addition to serving World Carfree Network members, Worldcarfree.net offers resources for architects, planners, teachers/professors, students, decision-makers and engaged citizens.
While World Carfree Network as a global entity does not have legal status, it exists as a functioning network organised with a Charter, Statutes, a Steering Committee and an Advisory Board. See the links above for details.
World Carfree Network Europe o.s. was an affiliate of the global network and a non-profit organisation registered and based in the Czech Republic. It was dissolved in 2012.
The formation of World Carfree Network USA was pursued and ultimately dropped in early 2007 due to the legal and technical complexity of gaining the status of a nonprofit organisation without operations running first.
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.