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Celebrate World Carfree Day

Celebrate World Carfree Day

Image source: worldcarfree.net

In a world that’s rapidly being overrun by fossil-fueled motorized vehicles, it’s important to bring awareness to the fact that an auto-centric lifestyle is not the only option, and that our neighborhoods, our communities, and our cities have a lot to gain by supporting better cycling, walking, and public transportation opportunities.

One way to do that is to organize or be a part of a car-free day celebration near you, especially on or around September 22, when you can join together with many other global communities in celebrating World Carfree Day.

“As the climate heats up, World Carfree Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile.” – WCFD

The point of carfree days is not really to demonize automobiles (or nowadays, minivans and SUVs), but more to re-cultivate the way we think about public spaces and transportation and livable cities, and to reclaim them for the use of the people, the pedestrians instead of the machines. Carfree days can emphasize that an automobile-dominated society is a choice, not a given, and that a rich and vibrant community can be result of designing around people instead of around cars.

J.H. Crawford, author of Carfree Cities and the Carfree Design Manual, describes our current situation like this:

“Cities in the modern era have been overrun by cars and trucks. Streets have been stolen from human uses by invasive street users. Not only is this method unlikely to be sustained into the future, it also robs society of some of its most important public spaces. Carfree cities are a delightful solution to many different problems at once.”

If you’d like to be a part of the solution for more sustainable cities, see if there’s a carfree day event planned in your area, or organize one yourself or through your organization. There’s a great guide to getting started here: So, You Are Thinking about Organizing a CarFree Day?

More information about World Carfree Day can be found here, here, and here, and on Facebook as well.

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