Adventures in Ethical Consumerism

Thursday, September 09, 2004

World Carfree Day

World Carfree Network: "September 22 is World Carfree Day, when people from around the world gather together to show alternatives to the automobile."

The WCN works tirelessly to promote the benefits of keeping cars out of our city centres. Just imagine: clean, quiet streets for people; more room to walk, cycle, skate or blade; breathable air; quick and efficient public transport services; more space for kids to play safely.

When will the masses start to realise how cool this would be?

I think what really prevents such things from moving forward is money. Not so much a lack of money to invest on the part of our local councils... I think it's more to do with the fears of city centre traders who believe their whole business is going to shrivel up and die when people are no longer able to drive into town. Not to mention the hugely powerful motor companies who probably would have to shoulder some losses if people suddenly found they had decent puplic transport to rely on.

Of course, the motor companies could turn their attention to develpoing environmentally-friendly public transport systems that they could profit immesely from in the long-term. But in the short-term it would mean investment and therefore reduced profits which, of course, is not acceptable.

Here is the EU's page for European Mobility Week, which operates in conjunction with World Carfree Day.

In Britain, the project is called "In Town Without My Car". The website has some useful information, but if you want to know what's actually happening in your area you'll get more information from the European website above.

If, like me, you're in Edinburgh, you can go here for a rough outline of what's going to be occurring.

Here is an interesting article from the Edinburgh Evening News about the evolution of the event and how people feel about it.

Finally, if you want more information about carfree cities in general, go here.


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