Carfree conference issues call for program proposals

As you might have already heard, in June of 2008 Portland will host an international conference on the future of urban transportation and livability, a.k.a., Towards Carfree Cities; Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity.

Conference organizer Elly Blue just released their call for program proposals. Check it out:

    We are currently soliciting presenters from around the world on this theme and urge you and your colleagues to submit a proposal. Please see the proposal description below, or visit our website for more information and to download a PDF version of Call for Proposals.



    The Towards Carfree Cities conference series brings together people from around the world who are promoting practical alternatives to car dependence. Professionals, activists, and community leaders alike will share how they have been building sustainable transportation systems and promoting the transformation of cities, towns and villages into human-scaled environments rich in public space and community life.

    As a part of the carfree movement, the conference seeks to find creative, practical solutions to the environmental, economic, community, and public health problems that arise from car-oriented urban policies, culture, and development. It looks to promote local, diverse, and sustainable neighborhoods that are accessible and pleasurable to everyone in the community.

    This year’s conference theme is “Rethinking mobility, rediscovering proximity.” The theme is intended to promote discussion of urban livability, mixed-use development, local agriculture, pedestrian safety, strong neighborhoods, accessible public space, and sustainable transportation.


    World Carfree Network and Shift are now seeking program proposals on the theme of “Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity”. Proposals are requested in the following categories:

    * Research abstracts
    * Presentations of programs (eg, government, non-profit, or private sector initiatives)
    * Presentations of World Carfree Network members’ organizational activities
    * Panelists on the following topics: a) alternatives to the private automobile; b) closures of parks or city streets to cars, c) carfree towns, housing developments, or shopping districts; d) experiences of carfree individuals and families, e) World Carfree Day events
    * Interactive workshops, activities, and tours
    * Films
    * Works of art

    Proposals of 1-2 pages in length, in English, shall include a title and description of the proposed activity, any equipment, time, or space requirements, relevant personal information or experience, and full contact details. Discounted entry for presenters. Send all proposals and questions to or mail to: Shift, PO Box 6662, Portland OR 97228 USA by December 15, 2007. See for further details about the conference.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Bill Larson
Bill Larson
16 years ago

How about addressing the fact that in most cities across the US a cyclist that does not own a vehicle cannot buy insurance to protect themselves if they get hit while riding a bike. try getting it. Its seemingly impossible in Portland, Oregon. What if a cyclist gets hits by an un-insured automobile driver and they dont have medical insurance (or, as in my case, it only covers 80% of my medical bills)? that can add up to a LOT Of money depending on the amount of care needed. If I had vehicular insurance, it would cover me. Recently my wife and I sold our only car and now they wont allow us to keep our insurance, and we cant find a company that will sell it to us. The State says you have to have insurance to have a driver\’s license. the insurance company says you have to have a car in order to buy insurance. Does anyone see the Catch-22 there? What if I sell my car, but still want to be insured for when I ride my bike and on the occasion I drive someone else\’s car or a work vehicle. The inusurance company says if somebody has insurance on their car and they have a rider that says anyone with a license can drive it, youre insured. What happens when the state of Oregon does an insurance check on you and finds you dont own a car, have a license, but dont have insurance?? what happens when you sell your car and decide a couple years later that their is a sustainable driving option so you buy a car and now have to pay through the nose for car insurance? Insurance companies have no care for me wanting to do good for our environment and everyone that lives on this planet. So, I have a lot of people ask, \”what is the reasoning behind the insurance companies not offering a type of insurance for cyclists?\” The answer is:
-cyclists that dont own an automobile are seen as though they arent wealthy enough or responsible enough to own a car
-cyclists that dont own an automobile are seen as though they did something nefarious to put themselves in that position, such as get a DUII

we need to contact our commissioners and present this to them. I already have. I have talked to Sam Adams and commissioner hopeful Chris Smith. If we can get three of five commissioners to agree to a mandate we could make this happen. we need to make it a condition for insurance companies doing business within this city/state to offer insurance to cyclists.