Living Car Free - Car-Free mentioned in Green City Article
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"Cutting private car use generally means civic leaders being prepared to risk a few brave decisions."
Good piece by Sir John Sorrell. He first makes the point that
"Some people think that cutting carbon means denying ourselves the things that make life enjoyable - no shopping, no fun - but I see it differently.
Tackling climate change isn't about self-denial, it's about reinvention; reinventing towns and cities, redesigning the way they work, and changing the way we all manage our lives.
He suggests three tests for telling if a city is sustainable:
"are there grants or local tax incentives available to help people green their homes?"
"...whether you have a genuine transport choice. Is it just as cheap and convenient to go by bus, tram and local train as it is by car?"
Greenery..."Are a lot more big trees being planted; are acres of new allotments coming on stream; are parks being properly maintained?"
Here is the short section specifically about carfree living:
The second thing is about how we live our lives, not just how we live in our homes.
Our carbon footprints reflect how we get to work, how we shop, where our friends are.
It is interesting that the biggest carbon savings at BedZed, the UK's veteran eco-housing development, have been made as a result of establishing a car sharing scheme.
Cutting private car use generally means civic leaders being prepared to risk a few brave decisions.
For example, when a new suburb was built in the German city of Freiburg, they ran a tram service from the moment the first resident moved in.
This meant empty trams at first, but now nearly half of its residents are car free. Not so foolish after all.
So my second test for a sustainable city is whether you have a genuine transport choice.
Is it just as cheap and convenient to go by bus, tram and local train as it is by car?
Until it is, heavy traffic will continue to put most people off walking and cycling, which are the personal transport options that score best for fitness and protecting the planet.
And here's a cute little picture in the article:
Caption: Getting people to abandon their cars
for public transport? Trams might fly....
Thanks for posting this, gwd! :)
One interesting thing about this article is that's there no references to some Rube Goldberg solution to climate change. That's the kind of approach I see most often in the US media. "Sequester CO2 from coal burning plants and send the waste to Siberia or Middle Earth.... send balloons to the outer atmosphere and..."... That sort of thing.
This author realizes it takes a mix of solutions, most of them requiring some serious intervention from government. The solutions are for the most part easily do-able. Political will, however, is required.
One thing he doesn't dwell on is the role of the individual. Like... one sure way to reduce our carbon footprint is to stop wasting resources.
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