MobilityCar-FreeUseful Guides for Car-Free Cities

Useful Guides for Car-Free Cities

Lauren McAskie
Lauren McAskie
I love talking to passionate CityChangers from around the world, hearing their stories and what drives their activism, then writing up guides for others to get inspired by. There's only one thing that could top a car-free city for me, and that's one made out of chocolate... but a girl can only dream. In the meantime, I'll work on making the first come true.

Want to reduce cars in your city? Here is a simple overview of all the useful guides, resources, manuals and links to help you get started – all in one place.

Searching for the right guides about how to reclaim your city space from cars for people can be tiring and time consuming. There is a sea of information on the internet to wade through when it comes to reducing car dominance, but finding the resources that are actually helpful can be a pretty tedious task…

That’s why we created this article with all of the most useful guides you should know about in one place. Whether you’re looking for general information on creating car-free cities or something more specific – we’ve got it covered. Keep reading to find out more.

General Guides:

  • European Mobility Week’s handbook for local campaigners: this guide provides a general information overview for local authorities seeking to take part in mobility week. New guides are published every year, but this 2017 edition has a great section on tips for how your city can organise a car-free day.
  • This Sourcebook for Policymakers in Developing Cities focusing on car-free development by Lloyd Wright provides an overview for policymakers and their advisors with policy tools appropriate for application in a range of developing cities worldwide.
  • The World Carfree Network compiled this guide containing a list of action ideas for reducing cars in your city: it includes suggestions which are easily and readily adaptable for anyone who wants to fight car culture.
  • The Centre for Liveable Cities in Singapore produced a guide for Creating Liveable Cities through Car-lite Urban Mobility: it is designed to distil, create and share knowledge on the topic of sustainable cities, with a focus on reducing cars.
  • This C40 Global Street Design Guide is a comprehensive resource on designing streets as places for people to get around, work, live and play. It moves beyond the practice of designing urban streets for vehicles to focus on access, safety and mobility for all users. 
  • The ‘SWITCH’ EU project which you can read more about in our article on the Top EU Projects on Reducing Car Use put together a Guide and Toolbox containing practical advice for campaigns to promote a switch from car-based to active modes of travel. – SWITCH EU project: the project developed a toolbox and guide – practical advice for campaigns to promote a switch from car-based to active travel modes.

Guides for Specific Topics:

Guides for Creating Low Traffic Neighbourhoods:

  • Sustrans’ guide to low traffic neighbourhood design and infrastructure for professionals. 
  • London Living Streets’ introduction for policymakers to low traffic neighbourhoods. 
  • London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets more detailed guide for policymakers on creating low traffic neighbourhoods.
Image credit: Pixabay / paulbr75

Guides for Creating a Car-Free Pop-Up Zone / Hosting a Car-Free Event:

  • ‘SHAREABLE’’s guide on how to make a street car-free.
  • Sierra Club of Canada’s guide on how to stage a car-free day in your community. This handbook is intended for Canadians but provides useful tips and information that could be handy for anyone who wants to host a car-free event.
  • Think Small’s guide to organising car-free days. 
  • guide on how to run a car-free day safely by ‘BRAKE’. This provides advice and ideas for employers, authorities and local communities. 

Guides on Car-Lite Streets for Children:

  • The National Association of City Transportation Official (NACTO)’s Designing Streets for Kids guide containing information about car-lite measures for children.
  • ‘ARUP’s Cities Alive guide to designing for urban childhoods with less cars.
  • This guide from the EU project ‘Metamorphosis’ on how to include children in urban design strategies (German only) 
  • guide to building cities for children by Tim Gill which focuses on case studies of child-friendly urban planning and design worldwide. Contains insights into why we should be reducing cars for our children.
  • guide from the EU ‘STARS’ project on how to replicate a ‘stars’ scheme for primary and secondary schools. This accreditation scheme focuses on fostering more active travel among children.

Guides on Creating 15-minute Cities: 

  • C40s guide on how to build a 15-minute city with references to encouraging walkability and pedestrianisation while shifting away from car use.

Guides for Inclusive Car-Lite Cities: 

  • Punt 6’s urban assessment guide from a gender perspective: discusses female perspective in urban design and why reclaiming car space is necessary for inclusive design.

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