Towards Carfree Cities V Evaluation

Notes by Jason Kirkpatrick

The following are topics with which participants can form their individual evaluations of the conference. Participants are reminded to not only criticize, but offer constructive criticism for next year.

We will go through them:

  • inspiration
  • new projects
  • content
  • new ideas
  • schedule format (public days)
  • study tours
  • accomodation
  • facilities-equipment
  • AGM
  • Pre-arrival items (registration, payment, information packaged)
  • Diversity (gender, ethnicity)
  • Language issues
  • Organisation
  • Food
  • Social program
  • Transportation

We could make an on-line form.

First thing - we have a chart that ranks each of the days. Every participant will mark on the paper.

Results: The conference was consistent. For even the lower rankings, it got better as the conference progressed.

Excursions - more on the issue
Great organisation
Content - more cultural
Participation of the young greens

Each participant has 93 seconds to give their comments - things that were good and things that could be improved.

  1. group dynamic was good with good ideas - we should have some language groups so that people can communicate in their own language - there was a dominance of American english
  2. positive: we had all the continents represented, discussing mobility for all - negative: the schedule was tiring, too much to concentrate on, sitting and not moving for a long time, try to have excursion in the first day. Food - for vegans and veg. food is important
  3. positive: meeting and talking to people outside of lectures, the panel discussion had a wide variety of voices - knowledge base could have beeen tapped into better, maquette was great because people were involved - AGM was difficult but good for getting to know each other
  4. panel discussion was good, but lectures should be limited (they could have been read in a book) to a few things, picking good public speakers, AGM was good because there was formal networking, but we should have had a venue for the AGM, good variety of excursions and a variety of activities, language is an issue so we need more simultaneous translations, the city hall was nice, but the university was a bit rough because people couldn't sit in circles. We need to repeat over and over that english speakers need to speak slowly loudly, and use hand gestures
  5. I cannot judge if the conference was good or bad because I could not understand the American English, it would be better if speeches were printed on paper before the conference, there could have been more tables and graphics printed, it is not democratic because people were not speaking slowly and loudly, if we want network to be a world network, and not an anglophone network you need to speak clearly and loudly
  6. We should use hand signals (the L) for the language problem.there was good international representation, lectures were okay, but we need some physical activities in the afternoon to maintain concentration, maybe organising some bike tour, transportation was good because we had free public transport, food wasn't good, evening events were quite okay, but we could have used more time for small groups.
  7. lectures are important, all and all the organisation was good
  8. very well-organised, friendly environment that didn't discriminate against anybody,could have been more activities, like bicycle riding where everyone might wear the same t-shirts or street actions, for the program, try to get people who are doing new work as some of the lectures are old so we could have tried to bring in new people with new ideas, not the same ideas as from other conferences, VeloMondiale will have open space where people give presentations throughout the day like a marketplace concept
  9. language question: hand signs to the speakers need to be explained, the conference reminded me of scientific events where there was a beautiful presentation, but more input from WCN member groups, more presentations from participants to show us what they are doing during the year
  10. it was really great this year, food and accomodation were not good, not so much space for dancing, I liked the small classrooms better than city hall, where there was only time for two questions, so more time for discussion
  11. good impression, I did not feel free to say my opinion in the lectures, more smaller working groups to make communication easier, people are all nice and good to hear experiences of other people, the richest part of the conference
  12. this was better than Berlin: improvements could be more activities, shared time between conference and other activities, working languages could be English and language of place, found new things that were interesting
  13. I liked the conference. Problems were with food, but I would have liked to hear more stuff on Hungary, there could have been outside place for sitting, like in Berlin where you could sit on picnic tables were under trees
  14. food and accomodation could have been better
  15. everyone was polite and patient, with language perhaps we could have guidelines or instructions for speakers about how to be clearly understood
  16. many people from different places and positions
  17. people are the best part of the conference, the discussion after lectures is the most meaningful and there was not enough time, the speakers could have had more clear directions about audience, how much time they had, how to make good power point presentations, not so happy about cockroaches in accomodation, language needs should be communicated when it happens and be forgiving
  18. great deal of effort into conference, I enjoy coming to all conferences, impressed by Bogota conference presentation and this is a good choice, conference should be in Zurich so I don't need to travel
  19. improvements: on Monday, the talks were too short. There was no time for questions following each speaker only at the end, which means they forgot what the first person said, more workshops with 30 minutes presentation and 30 minutes discussion, Bogota talk was inspirational, public day was dry and did not seem to be about carfree issues, more standard presentations about sustainable transport, Wednesday had good presentations about Copenhagen and Gronigen
  20. Good to see familiar faces and also able to put faces to names, good to hang around with people. A bed and a pillow was nice.
  21. I was here only Friday and today. I am just getting to know what people are doing.
  22. organising was excellent, I liked the dry theoretical stuff on external costs - great to have a range of people at the conference, this should continue in the schedule, good to have an affordable place to stay, but should have a diversity of accomodation for the diversity of participants, the talks at small tables over food was good - my main concern is gender and geographical diversity, majority of presentations give by man from western countries, we need to make an effort to draw out people from non-western countries, video or internet conferencing for next conference would be a great idea
  23. format for presentations should have lots of pictures and words (speaker guidelines), would have been better to have more formal place for participants to talk about their work, use diversity to see all our experiences, good that future conference host comes to the previous conference so there can be some continuity, it would have been good to know what Hungary was about, question period were too brief, write questions on paper so lots of people are not raising their hands, it would have been good if the press got involved with the participants and not just the organisers, good to have combination of practice and theory
  24. I was the liason to conference so I was working on it a lot. I will work on the conference organising manual incorporating what was said here. There should be onlz one public day with the most inspirational ideas, have new things, not like Diaz and Gemzoe. There should be more parallel sessions with a variety of kinds of presentations. There should be a lot of spirit about what people are saying, not just have good ideas. Food on Friday was good. Important to get out and see city on the first day. The public daz should be the second day, with four or five keynote addresses, but with themes that continue in the other working groups
  25. I appreciate the form of conference that begins with introduction and ends with evaluations. I like lectures, good way to make oneself familiar with the network, it is okay to repeat talks. Food and accomodation are important issue. There needs to be something good to rejuvenate oneself with food and accomodation.
  26. Conference was a high-level program. The physical schedul was a problem, I propose new format. Many people did not know maquette was going on. Excursions should be early not late. The accomodation here was just barely acceptable. It has never been quiet since I have been here, lots of cars on the street, music at night. Time-keeping should be strict. We need good directions on Bogota, for cultural issues, how to act, behave. Maquette process was marvellous event. We could have two maquette projects; one to take cars out and one to develop carfree on new site; we need to work on AGM better.
  27. the conference was inspiring; nice mix of activists and academics, this should be maintained, interesting lectures for everyone, introducing carfree issue to the wider public, have fewer presentations in one session which would allow for more discussion.
  28. Judit - schedule and program is hard to find what suits the needs for everyone, we had only four days and it is difficult to have speakers, discussions, . point of conference was to spread WCN to the Budapest people; we also wanted to have lost of Hungarians at the conference, but we only had 60 participants. We might have invited Hungarians too late, only a month before. Really good press coverage.
  29. I think the nature of academic lectures and informal presentations were good, I agree with the language problem. The whole process should be less planned and more spontaneous, not so bureaucratic. Many rules and regulations were not kept.
  32. The conference is extremely well-organised, a good timetable and schedule. The discussions yesterday left me unsatisfied, but I didn't like sitting on the grass. In consensus of AGM, it seemed like not everyone was putting their hands up, it's a problem if consensus is being pretended. Arie had a difficult time to organising priorities, but that funding shouldn't bias priorities
  33. For future conferences make sure we can have a place for non-smoking areas
  34. there were absolutely no technical problems.
  35. have a final action at the end of the conference
  36. Andras - Maria Somodi was responsible for technical issues. One of the most difficult tasks was getting money and support. We put stuff in city hall so press and officials would come. Some of the lectures might have been too technical, but Clean Air Action works a lot on external costs. I am sorry for food and accomodation, but we had limited funding, but we also wanted everything close to eaach other.


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 This page was last updated 13 October 2005