Annual Report 2006
In 2006, the capacity and potential of the network increased
significantly. This is due in large
part to structural improvements and long-term planning.
The multi-year strategic plan (completed at the end of 2005) identified our
lack of legal international status as a potential hindrance, but we solved this
problem in October 2006. A change in
Czech law allowed us to amend our statutes to permit international
members. Under the previous statutes
the global network functioned informally with only Czech members legally
recognised. We changed our name from
World Carfree Network - Czech Republic to World Carfree Network Europe o.s.
(WCN Europe) at the same time we amended the statutes. Our European members now all have full legal
status as members of WCN Europe. The
global network, including members outside of Europe, still functions informally
with support from WCN Europe's
International Coordination Centre
The status of WCN Europe as an organisation with international members
expands our funding opportunities from the European Commission, and we will
submit a proposal to the Directorate General Environment grant programme for
administrative support to non-government organisations in January 2007.
World Carfree USA (WCN USA) is registered as a nonprofit organisation in the
state of California; Federal 501c3 status is pending. Volunteers are coordinating an advocacy project, working to
identify potential donors, and developing projects that can be launched once
501c3 status is secured.
In 2006, our membership base continued to expand. Thirteen organisations applied for membership in the global
network. We ended the year with 67
members in the global network. WCN
Europe had 30 members at the end of 2006.
We will continue working to build membership during 2007.
Staff and office development
Christi Brooks joined the staff in November as the fundraiser and media
coordinator, replacing Ariana Farnam who left in December. Anna Domenech and Joao Lopes joined us in
February as European Voluntary Service interns, each for a one-year
period. Our staffing levels remain the
same, with nine full and part-time staff.
The grant proposal being submitted to the Directorate General
Environment includes funding for additional staff members to increase media
efforts and expand the distribution of our quarterly magazine. The multi-year strategic plan calls for
continued additions of staff members to facilitate further growth and realise
For the third year we received a core grant from the European Commission,
which covered about 32% of our core budget. This grant comes from the
Commission's YOUTH Programme. In
December, we submitted an application to the YOUTH Programme
for 2007 funding. We are also working
on a proposal for the Commission's Directorate General Environment grant
programme for administrative support to NGOs for 2007, and we will submit the
application in January 2007. We will
accept only one administrative grant for the year 2007. Our application to the Directorate General
Environment reflects our expansion during the last several years and would
enable us to continuing building our capacity and expanding activities.
The Dutch consulting firm Mobycon invited WCN Europe to work in conjunction
with multiple public and private partners on the Carfree Communities project,
and a grant proposal was submitted to the Intelligent Energy Europe programme
on November 1. The funder will make a decision by March 2007. The project would
work to overcome obstacles to the building of carfree communities in Europe.
In early December, Arianna Farnam left WCN Europe and was replaced by Christi
Brooks. The outgoing and incoming
fundraisers worked together on the core grant proposals. Arianna Farnam gets credit for securing the
following grants to fund the organisation's activities in 2006:
- European Commission: 31 580 (core costs)
- European Commission: 43 238 (Ecotopia
- European Commission: 16 560 (European
- Council of Europe: 10 000 (Istanbul youth
exchange, funds to be received in 2007)
- Tides Foundation: 1 541,72
- Network for Social Change: 4 876 (Awarded in
2005, received in 2006. Autoholics
- International Visegrad Fund: 40 000 (Awarded
in 2005 for a three-year period, total funds received over three years
will equal 40 000, 2006 was the second year of the grant).
- grants: 51 647,86
- memberships/subscriptions: 4 271
- donations: 5 503,97
- reserves: 9 450
In 2006 we continued publishing our monthly e-bulletin, World Carfree
News. We added two new language versions, and the bulletin is now published
in Czech, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. The bulletin contains news and announcements
relevant to our network and transport/urbanism issues in general. Members of
the network and others submit announcements and news items to the bulletin, and
volunteers located throughout Europe do the translations. Approximately 2,000
people are subscribed to receive the free bulletin each month, and it is also
sent to various discussion lists.
Carbusters is an English-language quarterly magazine and one of World
Carfree Network's most recognisable projects. It is a forum of ideas and
information useful to those campaigning on transport issues or interested in
involving themselves in transport reform. The magazine contains letters, world
news, feature articles, interviews, cartoons,
reports from transport-related events, and it is a gateway to our resource
centre (see below).
In 2006, each issue was printed in 2,600 copies. Over 400 individuals
subscribe to the magazine. All member
organisations also receive the magazine and are encouraged to translate
articles for publication in local media.
Various professional distribution companies disseminate many of the
copies, which are available in bookstores and at relevant international
conferences and events. We also have a network of independent distributors,
often youth from our network, who distribute the magazine at cultural events.
In 2006 we published issues 26-29. Themes
covered in Carbusters in 2006 included children and mobility, biofuels,
carfree success stories and road building. Plans are underway to increase the
size of the magazine from 32 pages to 36 pages.
With funding from the Network for Social Change, we launched this project in
2006. Car-addicted Britons can now join
Autoholics Anonymous online via <www.autoholics.org> and follow our
12-month, 12-step programme throughout 2007. They can also order annual AA gift
memberships for friends or family members. In the membership pack, they'll
receive an easy-to-follow programme with weekly activities and monthly
milestones, to make the process as rewarding as possible.
Towards Carfree Cities VI conference
In September, 120 participants gathered in Bogota, Colombia for our annual
conference. Fundaci๓n Ciudad Humana, a
member of the global network, hosted the conference. Participants included both European network and global network
members. The conference included a
"Street Conversion Design" workshop and international contest, and
the 15 winners were published in Carbusters #29 in December. WCN Europe's International Coordination
Centre, an outreach project, provides resources and other services to members
of the global network. This conference
provided the opportunity for WCN Europe to further assist in building the
capacity of Latin American organisations.
We also conducted a simultaneous youth exchange, bringing European and
Latin American youth together to learn from one another.
Annual General Meeting
At the 2006 Annual General Meeting, members identified the Towards Carfree
Cities conference series, the Carfree Area Pilot Project, World Carfree Day and
fundraising as major priorities.
Members emphasised the importance of adapting the annual Towards Carfree
Cities conference to the local venue and including discussions with local
officials and NGOs. The objective of
this focus is to create a platform for sharing ideas and experiences while
promoting the carfree message and developing synergy with local groups. To this end the Bogota conference included a
street conversion contest, with contestants from around the world proposing
ideas for redesigning a local intersection to make it carfree. The winning entries were published in Carbusters
# 29 in December (see the section "Towards Carfree Cities" for
more detailed information).
The Carfree Area Pilot Project (CAPP) is under development and will remain
so in 2007 due to funding opportunities for a related project. In conjunction with the Dutch consultancy
Mobycon, WCN Europe applied for a grant from the Intelligent Energy Europe
programme to fund the Carfree Communities project. The funder is expected to respond in early 2007. CAPP has a discussion list and a committee
of four active organisers, and it is near the stage where funding could be
WCN Europe actively supported participation in the September 22 World
Carfree Day. We helped to make World Carfree Day a success by offering support
to local organisations through the provision of resources, an online organising
forum, promoting activities and collecting reports from local
organisations. See the "World
Carfree Day" section for a more detailed report of activities.
The AGM made some amendments to the network's statutes, approved the new
member organisations (now numbering 63) and elected a new Steering Committee.
Next year's AGM will be held in Istanbul at the time of the Towards Carfree
Cities VII conference. Two of the conference hosts from Turkey were present in
offering everyone a warm invitation to attend the Istanbul event. The tentative
dates were chosen as October 1-5, 2007 (later changed to August 27-31, 2007).
Our mail-order and on-line resource centre offers books, videos, magazines,
bike stickers and other materials useful for active environmental education. In
2006, we filled approximately 24 orders per month, which involves packaging and
posting materials. In addition, we offer 'Freesources' (downloadable text files
of articles, thought pieces and studies).
We continued expanding resource materials available in Eastern European
languages through the support the International Visegrad Fund. WCN Europe received a three year grant for
this purpose in July 2005. During 2006, we published CARtoons in Slovak, Czech,
Polish and Hungarian. We will continue the expansion of our Visegrad language
resource materials in 2007 with a Carbusters reader.
European Workshop for Youth
Action: May 22-26, Tabor, CZ
This seminar was funded by the
European Youth Foundation, with the goal of capacity building among youth
organisations in the fields of environment, urban development and mobility.
It was a week of skill trainings, project development meetings, networking and
excursions. The workshop was held at CESTA
(an alternative artists' collective established in Tabor in 1993) and the
University of Southern Bohemia.
By day, the seminar covered media skills, campaign strategy, carfree day
planning, and other topics. By night, there was music, folk dancing, games, and
mixing with the
locals at the Caf้ "Seven." The week included meetings for World
Carfree Network projects. The Ecotopia Biketour 2006 organisers met throughout
the seminar, while
other project groups met on the Thursday. The Visegrad Publications Project
made preparations for the printing of CARtoons by Andy Singer in Czech,
Slovak, Polish and Hungarian, and began work on The Carbusters Reader
to be published in June 2007 in the same languages.
Two new web-based projects were introduced and developed. One is a
carfree-themed Indymedia sub-site, where people from around the world would
independently post news, announcements and other content. See <http://biotech.indymedia.org> for an
example of how it might look. The other web project is a site for the general
public, serving as an introduction on "what's wrong with the
automobile," as the current
websites speak mainly to carfree advocates and do not explain the basics.
Participants greatly enjoyed the combination of learning, project work and
social events, and the town of Tabor as well. They suggested the idea of having
an annual event in Tabor. We submitted a grant application for exactly this for
2007, but the European Commission didn't see the value of funding a repeat
Carfree Neighbourhood Design
Workshop: May 28, Prague, CZ
JH Crawford, author of Carfree
Cities (see Carfree.com), led this hands-on workshop following the above
seminar in Tabor. Participants were given a chance to design a carfree district
at 1:1 scale, in a field owned by our hosts CODECO Real Estate Development. The
workshop was organised by WCN for a dozen participants (numbers were limited by
weather conditions). The objective was to work on a site (not on paper) to
design an area that would be the most comfortable, livable, and attractive
urban setting ever devised.
The site was transformed in a three-part process. The first phase was to
distribute people across the site. The next series of decisions leads to the
placement of the streets and squares, while respecting the results of the first
part. The third phase was the design of actual streets and interior courtyards,
again reflecting the needs and desires of the future "residents."
It was a successful process, and details can be found here:
We have four websites - Worldcarfree.net, Carbusters.org, Thebiketour.net
and Autoholics.org. These sites provide
extensive electronic resources to both our member organisations and the general
In 2006, Carbusters.org continued to be the main website for our
magazine. The site publishes selected
feature articles from the magazine, hosts an online forum, includes links to
other resources and provides visitors with the opportunity to subscribe to the
magazine and the electronic bulletin (published monthly in six languages).
Worldcarfree.net is the main website for World Carfree Network, and includes
links to the other sites. The site includes: information about WCN Europe, WCN
USA and the global network; electronic resources, links, Carfree Greenpages and
a catalogue for the resource centre; descriptions of all projects; profiles of
WCN Europe Staff, the global and European steering committees, the WCN Europe
management team and our board of professional advisors; Wiki pages software for
member organisations to develop project pages; and links to other resources and
Thebiketour.net is dedicated to the Ecotopia Biketour. It provides
information about the planning process for the next bike tour, photos and
information from the previous tour and other items of interest to past and
potential bike tour participants.
Expansion of on-line resources
In 2006, our staff significantly expanded the free on-line resources
available to our member groups. We added a number of videos and articles to the
Freesources section of our Web site.
World Carfree Network's on-line resources also include fact sheets on
alternative transport, transport financing, emissions and energy security,
which many youth organisations use in their public awareness raising. Finally, WCN's webpages include
collaborative publishing software, called Wiki pages, where member groups can
develop texts for project plans, press releases, information materials and
self-published books. The Wiki program allows users to input text and keeps
track of future edits from remote users.
World Carfree Day
We actively supported participation in the September 22 World Carfree Day.
World Carfree Network provided information to local community and youth groups
on such topics as how to organise local events, and collected many reports from
participating groups. We provided an on-line organising forum and helped
smaller groups involved in our network to form cross-border partnerships.
On September 22, 2006 one thousand five hundred cities celebrated World
Carfree Day, which focused on street conversions. WCN Europe sponsored an international contest to convert
intersections to carfree areas, and winning entries were published in Carbusters
#29. Activities included street fairs, cycling activities
Our World Carfree Day website is www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd/. The Web site
provided a place where organisations could register their Carfree Day
activities, which helped us track the number of events internationally. World Carfree Day remains a major
priority for both the European and global networks, as identified by the
steering committees. Our goal for 2007
is to dedicate more staff time to promoting the event and to encourage more
organisations to register their event in order to improve tracking of events
and maintain accurate statistics for evaluation purposes.
Carfree Green Pages
Our online carfree business contact directory was redesigned, expanded and
renamed to Carfree Green Pages (www.worldcarfree.net/greenpages) in
2005. In 2006, we continuing updating
and expanding the directory, which now includes more than 600 organisations
from around the world who are dedicated to promoting alternatives to the automobile
lifestyle. We continued to actively address the organisations listed in the
directory, asking them to help promote the Carfree Green Pages on their
Web sites by placing its logo on their webpage. We also actively sought out new
listings, either by contacting likeminded groups directly or by asking our
existing partners and collaborators to encourage groups they know to enter a
listing in the directory.
Through a grant from the International Visregard Fund, we translated a book
that we self-published in 2002 - CARtoons by Andy Singer. CARtoons,
which was updated in 2005, has proven to be one of our most valuable resources,
using humour and an easily accessible graphic design to educate people about
environmental and sustainability issues. The book was translated and published
in Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and Polish in 2006.
We also continue to distribute our second 2002 book, Roadkill Bill by
Ken Avidor. In addition, a member of our staff produced a North American
version of the popular British book, Cutting Your Car Use by Anna
Semlyen. It was released by New Society Publishers in May. Cutting Your Car
Use is a pocket-sized book with practical information on how to get by with
less driving or live without a car.
Ecotopia Biketour 2006
This annual event, which began in 1990 and has been
coordinated by WCN Europe since 2004, travels a different region of Europe each
year determined partially by the location of the Ecotopia gathering where the
tour always makes a stop. The goal is to bring
together youth from across Europe and create a mobile sustainable community in
which decisions are made together on a consensus basis, and tasks are equally
shared. In 2006, the tour ran from Lithuania to Croatia and drawing participants
from Eastern European countries as well as a number of EU member countries. The
Biketour, which included a EC-funded youth exchange project, assisted local
NGOs and environmental groups along its route with short-term volunteer work
and awareness raising projects. Evaluations by the participating NGOs showed
that, in many cases, the Ecotopia Biketour was their first cross-border
cooperation project and that several international environmental projects were
developed due to the personal networking made possible by the Biketour.
Contributions to the Ecotopia gathering
The Ecotopia Gathering in 2006 took place in Zajezova, Slovakia August 6-20.
World Carfree Network has a long-standing tradition of cooperation with the
primary organiser of the gathering, European Youth for Action. WCN contributed
this year by bringing participants from our Biketour, promoting the gathering
to the public and by providing several
educational workshops during the gathering, particularly concerning
opportunities for young people to become EVS volunteers or participate in other
European-level programmes. Biketour participants shared their knowledge with
other Ecotopia attendees by offering and attending workshops, connected
contacts along their route with others working on similar projects and assisted
with the day-to-day management and organisation of the Ecotopia camp. The website is for Ecotopia 2006 is www.ecotopia2006.org.
Other events attended by World Carfree Network staff or project
Against Climate Change European planning meeting
Germany, March 4
WCN staff member attended this European-wide planning meeting for November 4
activities against climate change and in support of the COP/MOP talks in
Nairobi. WCN was among the first 10
organisations to participate in setting up a European-wide network for the
Campaign Against Climate Change.
Greece, May 4-7
assisted with Campaign Against Climate Change activities at the forum. We also set up an information and resource
stand to promote the organisation and distribute educational materials from the
Management For Different Actors in EVS
Luxembourg, June 6-12
EVS coordinator attended this international training for EVS tutors and
supervisors. It was organized by
national agencies under the YOUTH
programme. WCN hosts 2-4 EVS interns
Czech Republic, August 8-10
EVS interns attended this conference for young Europeans to discuss
environmental issues and gain skills to address those issues. The conference provided professional skills
training and discussion, as well as entertainment for young Europeans involved
in environmental work.
workers in Training- Improving working skills for intercultural youth exchange
WCN staff member attended this training in Georgia to learn methods for
improving youth exchanges. WCN Europe
coordinates 1-2 international youth exchanges annually.