Towards Carfree Cities Conference

The International Towards Carfree Cities conference is in Portland from June 16-20.

See coverage from the event below or browse the Photo Gallery.

Gil Penalosa’s keynote speech from the Carfree Conference

Posted on June 23rd, 2008 at 1:50 pm.

“We have learned how to survive, now we really need to learn how to live.”
–Gil Penalosa at the Carfree Conference last Tuesday

I have finally gotten a chance to upload my audio recording of Gil Penalosa’s keynote address to the Towards Carfree Cities Conference at Portland State University last Tuesday.

Penalosa’s speech and presentation garnered a standing ovation from a room full of the best and brightest minds in the international livable cities movement. His words — spoken in the context of a major shift in the transportation mindset of city leaders throughout the world — were the perfect way to kick off the five-day conference.


“Denying” use of cars is “evil”: How to respond to a carfree naysayer

Posted on June 20th, 2008 at 10:02 am.

“I seriously disagree with… taking an entire neighborhood and denying them the use of their cars, which I think is an evil thing to do to people, even if just for one Sunday.”
–talk show host Lars Larson

On the opening day of the Towards Carfree Cities Conference, right-wing talk radio personality Lars Larson invited Meghan Sinnott, one of the event’s organizers, onto his show.

In the interview (mp3 below) Ms. Sinnott provides a textbook example on how to handle someone with a pro-car mentality who is opposed to the ideas and concepts that define the livable streets and carfree movements.


TriMet unveils new interactive trip-planning map

Posted on June 19th, 2008 at 2:00 pm.

Screenshot from TriMet’s new trip-planning map unveiled at the Carfree Conference yesterday. Check it out here.


A look inside New York City’s burgeoning ‘livable streets movement’

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 1:17 pm.

NYC_Livable Streets at Carfree Conf-1.jpg
The “Street Fight” presentation at the
Carfree Conference taking place at Portland
State University through Friday.
(Photos © J. Maus)

With 840,000 motor vehicles entering into New York City’s central business district each day, New York City has its share of challenges in creating livable, safe and people-friendly streets.

But thanks to a burgeoning collaborative effort between advocates and bureacrats, New York City is in the midst of a streets renaissance.

This morning, Carfree Conference attendees got a look inside this renaissance from several leaders of the “livable streets movement”.


Penalosa inspires, gives Portland a reality check

Posted on June 18th, 2008 at 10:18 am.

Gil Penalosa at the
Carfree Cities Conference.
(Photos © J. Maus)

During his inspiring keynote speech at the Carfree Conference yesterday, Gil Penalosa gave Portlanders a lot to think about.

Penalosa is the former Commissioner of Parks, Sport, and Recreation for the city of Bogota, Colombia. During his tenure, he transformed that city (population 7 million) by creating hundreds of acres of new parks, developing a connected network of greenways (linear parks) and bike paths, setting up an ambitious public transit system (utilizing Bus Rapid Transit) and establishing the “Ciclovia”, a carfree streets program adored by millions of Bogota residents each week (and by urban planners around the world).


Bike culture takes over City Hall

Posted on June 17th, 2008 at 6:51 pm.

The scene here at City Hall tonight is on fire… literally.
(Photos © J. Maus)


Bike League will launch Bicycle Friendly Business Program

Posted on June 17th, 2008 at 2:42 pm.


In his speech addressing an international crowd at the Carfree Cities Conference, League of American Bicyclists executive director Andy Clarke announced that his organization will launch a Bicycle Friendly Business program.

In his address, Clarke also said the League plans to release the initial rankings of their recently launched Bicycle Friendly States program in September.

To a packed room of carfree and transportation advocates, Clarke sang the praises of Portland. He said one of the reasons Portland is “so awesome” is that we’ve “had the courage to lead.” He also laid out the many facets of our vibrant and diverse bike culture.


Families, freeways, among topics as Carfree Conference kicks off

Posted on June 17th, 2008 at 1:53 pm.

Hard at work in a street
redesign workshop.
Photo Gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

After depaving a former parking lot in North Portland yesterday, the Towards Carfree Cities Conference marched on this morning at Portland State University.

The first half of the program dealt with two topics of major interest to urban planners (and anyone interested in healthy communities): families and freeways.


De-paving event kicks off Carfree Conference

Posted on June 16th, 2008 at 3:24 pm.

Carfree Conf - De-paving-11.jpg
Former parking lot soon to be garden.
(Photos © J. Maus)

With car use in decline across the country, millions of urban acreage currently devoted to parking them will soon go fallow.

What to do with all those parking lots? Depave them!

The International Towards Carfree Cities conference kicked off this morning with a depaving event in North Portland.

Scores of volunteers from Portland-based Depave pounded, cracked-up, and then carried away tons of pavement from the parking lot at the SE corner of N. Fargo and Williams.


Andy Clarke to speak at free Public Day of Carfree Conference

Posted on May 23rd, 2008 at 12:36 pm.

National Bike Summit 07
League of American Bicyclists
Executive Director Andy Clarke.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The eighth annual Towards Carfree Cities Conference is coming to Portland in less than a month (June 16-20) and organizers have lined up an impressive list of speakers, events, and workshops.

The latest addition to the program is a keynote presentation by head honcho of the League of American Bicyclists, Andy Clarke. According to conference organizer Elly Blue, Clarke — the man who broke the news about Portland’s Platinum designation — will speak during the event’s free Public Day on Tuesday June 17th.