Annual Report 2006


Network development

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 network goals.

Funding/financial development

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 Biketour)
  • European Commission: € 16 560 (European Voluntary Service)
  • 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 Anonymous)
  • 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).

Core Income:

  • grants: €51 647,86
  • memberships/subscriptions: €4 271
  • donations: € 5 503,97
  • reserves: € 9 450
  • other: € 9 454,77


Monthly e-bulletin

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 magazine

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.


Autoholics Anonymous

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 sought.

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 Tabor,
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).


Resource centre

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 event.

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: www.carfree.com/cft/i043.html



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 public.

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 organisations.

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 and more.

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.


Book publishing

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 coordinators:

Campaign Against Climate Change European planning meeting

Frankfurt, Germany, March 4

A 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.


European Social Forum

Athens, Greece, May 4-7

WCN 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 resource centre.


Conflict Management For Different Actors in EVS

Echternach, Luxembourg, June 6-12

Our 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 annually.



Prague, Czech Republic, August 8-10

WCN 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.


Youth workers in Training- Improving working skills for intercultural youth exchange

Georgia, December 7-12

A WCN staff member attended this training in Georgia to learn methods for improving youth exchanges. WCN Europe coordinates 1-2 international youth exchanges annually.







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 This page was last updated 13 May 2007