by George Monbiot.
The only chance we have of reaching people who haven't yet heard what we've got to say is through the media. Whether we use the media or not, our opponents will, says the author of this witty and useful booklet. He then briefly presents the media people and their life problems, and sums up our advantages. In four lessons he teaches you how to invite the press to your actions, how to organise the events so they can be media-covered, how to give interviews and what to do after you've done all this. In one word, a handy step-by-step manual that will turn you into a media star practically overnight!
by Bradford C. Snell, 1974
This proposal for restructuring the automobile, truck, bus and rail industries stemming from the original 1974 U.S. Government Report, looks at social consequences of monopoly. It shows that excessive economic concentration can restructure society for corporate ends. As an illustration, it describes how General Motors, Ford and Chrysler reshaped American ground transportation to serve corporate wants instead of social needs. The study concludes with a discussion of feasibility and a review of alternative means of implementation. It suggests, for instance, that reorganization into smaller, independently competing units is feasible for at least two reasons: America's ground vehicle industries performed better when they were independent and less concentrated; and the more advanced transport industries of Europe and Japan are largely organized in this fashion.
by Denis Cheynet
Although they have been revealed many times over, the misdeeds of the automobile are never truly heard and absorbed, and their exposure is stifled by an ideology that absolutely does not want to hear about them. In a world that professes to be rational and logical, the car is the most emotional and the most aberrant tool there is. Automobile growth cannot be sustained in the long-term and is also not even feasible in the present, due to the fact that only a privileged minority of humankind benefits from its economic development. If we would like that life be possible on Earth in the decades to come, our only solution is to thus abandon this scourge. At the same time, we must put into question, in a deep and radical manner, the causes which have made the car ideology dominant in industrialized countries. The elimination of the automobile should be effected by reducing our consumption of materials and natural resources, reducing the transportation flow, and a re-evaluation of our goals.
by Ivan Illich and Jean Robert, 1992
Based on quite accurate observation of the damaging impacts of current transportation and with regard to the historical development of the transportation industry, this study proposes a new way of using private cars. Every car with a free seat must stop when asked. A law restricts licenses to drivers who produce passenger-miles and earn income by doing so. Everyone who is not a driver will be chauffeured, and all drivers are available as chauffeurs. Can a simple judicial judgment turn the way we now think about economic "goods" topsy turvy? Without any technical innovation, can a society transform its social and physical environment? Can a small change in the character of transportation lead to a moral reevaluation of place?
[RTF in english, 6KB]
[RTF in German, 6KB]
by Patrick Gunkel, 1988
This is a summary of a discussion from 1988 on the bicycle helmets. It reprints a
New York Times article, a commentary to it, and a summary of remarks submitted to a
public hearing on helmets. Interesting to see the pro and con arguments, in the light
of current developments.
by Steven Muir, 2005
A collection of cycling songs by New Zealand activist Steven Muir, ideal for holiday singalongs, cycle events, critical mass, humming while cycling etc.
by Car Busters & Tinerii Prieteni ai Naturii, 2000
Culled from our experiences in organising Towards Car Free Cities II, held in
Romania, April 2000. Includes information on how to chose a venue, get payment,
organise actions and much, much more.
by Philip Goff, 199?
A little frightening piece of writing to remind us that what used to belong to
the public to enjoy has turned into car roadways. Hand in hand with the auto industry,
modernist urban planners and architects, dehumanised traffic engineers, and demagogue
developers are seen guilty for this negative development. Many of humanity's most
pressing problems can be traced to the overuse of automobiles, and unchecked suburban
development. Until something in human behaviour is curbed, our decadent lifestyle will
continue to decimate communities and cities, and precipitate the ongoing destruction
of the natural world.
(Module 3e of the "Sourcebook for Policy-Makers in Developing Cities," GTZ 2005
More than 170 pages covering a range of issues around car-free development, including an overview of worldwide car-free activities (e.g. car-free days, car-free housing, large-scale pedestrianisation), an outline of project implementation processes and a listing of car-free resources, including information resources and funding opportunities.
This document has been developed under GTZ's Sustainable Urban Transport Project and is part of the "Sustainable Urban Transport Sourcebook for Policymakers in Developing Cities." This and all other - at present - 22 modules of the Sourcebook are available from the GTZ SUTP project website at www.sutp.org after a quick registration process.
by Teacher Chris, 2000
Compiled by teacher Chris in Japan from the Statistics on this site to test his
kids, it is of use to any teachers out there. Or a campaign tool for activists on the
streets. Or simply a way to test your own knowledge...
by Christine Laurence
In 2002, Christine Laurence travelled to Zurich, Copenhagen,
Stockholm, San Francisco, Washington DC and Toronto to talk to community groups working for sustainable transport. This
report summarises what people shared with her, as well as lots of different ways people are advocacting for healthier transport. Some lessons from the study tour, according to Laurence: community action is essential to develop the political will needed for healthy transport. This action will be more successful if it is based on a comprehensive strategy that includes a set of guiding principles and has a vision and focus. Also needed are a
robust analysis of the issues, goals, clearly defined decision makers and supporters, organisational development, a communications plan, considered tactics to persuade decisionmakers and the community to take action and an ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of the strategy.
[download PDF-file, 485kB]
by Richard Register
A cute little how-to for those of us who feel strong enough in the muscles
department. Register prompts us not to waste time anymore and do what the road builders
always fail to do - to depave what doesn't have to be paved. Treating small depaving
projects, medium-sized projects and depaving for the ambitious separately, he gives a
concise lesson on how to actually do the hard work, where to get the tools and where
to haul all the black shite you dig out. Marvellous for activists who are not afraid to
put on a fake 'Public Works' costume and dig for the 'black gold' that's buried in
every street! "Start small, think big. Think it through, then swing that pick."
by John Whitelegg, 1993
Only 40 percent of an average car's air pollution is emitted during the car's
"driving" life stage. The other 60 percent results from other life stages: the
extraction of raw materials, the transport of raw materials, the production of
the car, and the disposal of the car. Cars emit 56 percent of their pollution
before they ever hit the road, and 4 percent after they are retired. Thus efforts
to decrease air pollution by getting "old, polluting" cars off the road to only
replace them with new, "cleaner" cars are misguided - as such efforts have focused
on pollution emitted solely during the driving stage and thus have missed 60
percent of the problem. We advocate an end to the production of new cars, an end
to road building, and also to take existing cars off the roads in favor of
walking, bicycling, and tram and train use.
by Ivan Illich, 1974
Ivan Illich’s brilliant, classic, mind-blowing essay argues (among other things) that high speed is the critical factor that makes transportation socially destructive, that we have become dangerously overpowered by our technology. He calls for a society based around low-speed transport, having found that, at speeds faster than 15 mph, equity declines, the scarcity of both time and space increases, and the human and natural environment are degraded. Illich thus finds a contradiction implicit in the joint pursuit of equity and industrial growth.
[RTF in italian, 99KB]
[RTF in spanish, 107KB]
[RTF in french, 118KB]
[RTF in german, 100KB]
[RTF in english, 72KB]
[HTML-file in english]
by Phil Goodwin et al., 1998
In most locations, road capacity will not be increased sufficiently to provide
for unrestrained growth in car use. For this reason, there will be increasing
pressure to ensure that the best possible use is made of existing road capacity.
In addition, greater attention is being focused on the role of road capacity in
policies intended to reduce traffic growth, and, in some locations, to reduce the
present amount of traffic. Reallocation of a proportion of road capacity - either
to favoured classes of vehicle traffic, or to non-vehicle use - is therefore of
major policy interest. This summary report of a large empirical study reviews a
number of cases of road capacity reduction, and comes to a conclusion that
measures which reduce or reallocate road capacity, when well-designed and favoured
by strong reasons of policy, need not automatically be rejected for fear that they
will inevitably cause unacceptable congestion.
Chancen des Fuß- und Radverkehrs als Beitrag zur Umweltentlastung
by Umweltbundesamt (German Federal Environmental Agency), 2005
by John Adams, 2000
Mobility is liberating and empowering, Adams argues. But you can have too much of a good thing. Adams maintains that society will be more dispersed, polarised and crime-ridden, as well as less democratic. People will become fatter and less fit, the world will be more dangerous for those not in cars and anonymous, less culturally varied and convivial. He discusses why the society is, and increasingly will be, hypermobile. He sees the primary reason for this in the politicians not asking people the right question. Instead of presenting people with the real consequences of moving too much, they keep on pretending that there are no such consequences. Only when the right questions are asked, the right answers will be found.
[English - RTF, 27KB]
[Francais - RTF, 48KB]
[Italiano - RTF, 31KB]
[Espanol - RTF, 31KB]
by Anonymous M11 (UK) campaigner, 1994
A critique of the automobile as a part of a larger class-conscious
critique of capitalism. It dissects Fordism, which raised labour
productivity through assembly-line-based industrial production methods and
provided the basis for mass consumption. Addresses the freedom of movement
introduced by car ownership as a false freedom, a formal freedom, a
representation of freedom which becomes a necessity that reduces the freedom
of others. Also looks at the contribution of the automobile to social
alienation and powerlessness.
by Konstantinos Tsourlakis, 2004
Tsourlakis, of the Greek pedestrian rights organisation PEZEE, argues that scooters and motorcycles, seen by some as viable alternatives to cars because they are cheaper and can avoid traffic jams, are, in many ways, more polluting than cars and have less potential to limit that pollution.
by Daniel James, 2000
This short article explains why so many people spend so much time of their
lives driving. It identifies the driving forces behind mass motorism as different
forms of dictatorship and political propaganda, be it Hitler's fascism,
Stalinism, Thatcherism, or Fordism. The car in James' view is a device of mass
obedience, and motorism is an ideology rather than an individual's choice. If
we recognise this, James argues, we are in a position to discard it.
by Prof. Frank Fisher, Director of the Graduate School of Environmental Science at the University of Monash, Australia, 1997
This article, originally published in Engineering World (Feb/Mar 1997), takes a holistic look at the car to reveal it as one of the greatest failings of the economic rationalists governing our society. In terms of energy, time and money, it is too great an inefficiency to perpetuate.
by Road Alert!, March 1997
The out-of-print road fighter’s bible, with 17 chapters filled with solid,
practical information on everything from writing press releases and organising
affinity groups to building tree camps and digging tunnels. Written by Road Alert
in 1997. This text version lacks the valuable diagrams that accompany the tripod
and tree camp sections.
The book is also available on-line at http://www.eco-action.org/rr/.
by Amics de la Bici, 2004
Powerpoint presentation by Barcelona's Amics de la Bici (Friends of the Bicycle) on building safe routes to school by walking or cycling. Good for organisations or individuals looking for inspiration or something on which to base their own presentation.
English: [download zipped PPT-file, 379KB]
Español: [download zipped PPT-file, 403KB]
by Jamie Lincoln Kitman, 2000
New York lawyer and writer, in this 24-page expose which appeared in The
Nation (March 20, 2000), documents how some of the world's largest corporations
-- General Motors, Du Pont and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon-Mobil) --
got together and put lead, a known poison, into gasoline, for profit. They
steadfastly denied the environmental and health effects; covered up, suppressed,
fought and unfairly maligned the safer, competing fuel additives; overstated
the benefits of lead as an "anti-knocking" agent; funded, underwrote and controlled
all scientific research on lead for more than four decades; and threatened and
defamed independent scientists who would eventually debunk the companies' pro-lead
by André Gorz, 1973
"Unlike the vacuum cleaner, the radio, or the bicycle, which retain their use value when everyone has one, the car, like a villa by the sea, is only desirable and useful insofar as the masses don't have one. That is how in both conception and original purpose the car is a luxury good. And the essence of luxury is that it cannot be democratised. If everyone can have luxury, no one gets any advantages from it. On the contrary, everyone diddles, cheats, and frustrates everyone else, and is diddled, cheated, and frustrated in return."
[RTF in italian, 33KB]
[RTF in spanish, 27KB]
[RTF in french, 30KB]
[RTF in english, 22KB]
European Federation for Transport and Environment, 2001
T&E's excellent booklet takes on ten myths about road building. Should be slipped under the doorsteps of any politicians who thinks that road building helps economic growth.
[PDF, no pictures, 295KB]
All T&E reports
A good Discussion and Study Guide to accompany the documentary about the destruction of public transport and rise of the automobile in the United States.
by John Whitelegg, 1994
Although time-savings provide the principal economic justification for new
road schemes, the expansion of the road network and the increase in traffic does
not seem to have given people more free time. This is because pedestrian time is
not evaluated, because cars are deceptively time-consuming, and because people
tend to use what time savings they do gain to travel farther.
by Car Busters
An alphabetised list of some of the better books and articles to read on
non-motorised transport and much more. Really useful to researchers. Also includes
contact info for some NGOs and other organisation working on transport issues.
[HTML-file in english]
A list of some of magazines and publications that we have in our library and that might be useful to you.
[HTML-file in english]
by Car Busters
Originally compiled as a list of suggested actions for World Car Free Day,
2000, this list includes many suggestions which are easily and readily adaptable
for anyone who wants to fight car culture. Ranging from radical activist to
family fun orientated, with ideas for those working alone or in groups, this
list remains a great resource and a compilation of some of the best actions we
have yeat heard of as well as the newest suggestions.
[HTML-file in english]
by Car Busters
statistics, statistics. A few of the facts and figures that can help you get
your message across to the audience, stun and amaze your opponents and shock the
[HTML-file in english]
(Roland Schraut, GER, 1994, 15 min., Real Audio, Quicktime)
The car is taking over the city. Michael Hartmann refuses to bow to them, refuses even to divert around the cars illegally parked on the sidewalk. Autoschreck is a documentary about a man committed to a mental hospital for being perfectly normal. He was just giving the cars a taste of their own medicine.
Other videos on this link include a documentary of the first Towards Carfree Cities conference, and audio excerpts from the book Car Walking Michael Hartmann.
link: Kriegste.de (in German)
(Extinction Stinks!, CAN, 2002, 6 min.)
The wild adventures of Vancouver's legendary band of mischevious, cycling velociraptors.
(Autoroutes.fr, FR, 2004, 30 seconds, Real Audio)
Depicts a deer, a rabbit and a beaver crossing a motorway with the aid of a trampoline. The implication being, of course, that motorway construction companies are responsible service providers.
(Sutherland Productions, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute, USA, 1956, 13 min.)
A martian goes to Earth. Comedy ensues while he learns about oil-lubricated American greatness. Interesting mix of cute animation, conservative Cold War-era capitalist dogma, and narration so condescending it makes you cringe.
link: Prelinger Archive
(On Film, Inc., sponsored by Redbook Magazine, USA, 1957, 19 min.)
A priceless view of the socio-economic conditions which led to what we now have to live with - the malling of the world. It looks cute today, but for everyone who laments the passing of community in the wake of McWorld, this film chronicles the beginning of the end.
link: Prelinger Archive