Carfree conference plans take shape

“Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity”

This summer, Portland will host the eighth annual, international Towards Carfree Cities Conference.

For the past several months, conference organizer Elly Blue and a dedicated volunteer crew have been working to solidify the program schedule, find sponsorships, and take care of the myriad tasks and tedium involved with hosting an event of this magnitude.

Official registration for the event opened today and the week-long schedule has filled in quite nicely.

The most exciting news to report is that noted transportation and livability visionary Gil Penalosa will be the featured, keynote speaker on the event’s free public day (Tuesday, 6/17).

Penalosa, who I wrote about back in July, is the former commissioner of parks and recreation for the city of Bogota, Colombia and is a passionate and respected proponent of the ciclovia movement.

Other notable events on the program so far include a depaving project in North Portland where conference attendees will convert a parking lot into a green community space, a carfree-themed art show in City Hall, square dancing in the street, and a diverse selection of panel discussions and presentations based on the event’s theme of Rethinking Mobility, Rediscovering Proximity.

Commissioner Sam Adams says, “This conference will help us bring local and international perspectives to a challenge we all share: dependence on the private car.”

The event, which will be based at Portland State University’s Smith Memorial Student Union, begins on June 16th and culminates on June 22nd when it will co-mingle with PDOT’s already-planned Sunday Parkways event.

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Steve Hoyt-McBeth
Steve Hoyt-McBeth
14 years ago

That\’s amazing that they\’ve scored Gil Penolosa. I\’m stoked!

Elly Blue (Columnist)
14 years ago

Thanks for the write-up, Jonathan. We got a lot of really exciting program proposals which I really, really wish I could tell everyone about right now, but will have to hold off somehow for a few weeks.

More information coming soon — for now, check out the web site, and if you see any members of Shift\’s amazing all-volunteer team roaming around looking sleep deprived, please give them a hug and buy them a beer.

gus
gus
14 years ago

Too bad the conference is priced outside the range of too most average folks. I\’d love to go but for the money I could buy some nice new gear…guess it\’s free day only for me.

Former 49er..
Former 49er..
14 years ago

This is a great event for Portland and one that will hopefully get a lot of attention from regular Portlanders..

Moo
Moo
14 years ago

A bit pricey for me, maybe I\’m not understanding the concept. Figure the more the merrier, and not a lot of folks who want to go aren\’t going to be cash able…like Moo!

Lenny Anderson
14 years ago

If the Columbia River Crossing folks get their way and construct a 10 lane bridge across the Columbia that will enable up to 40,000 additional auto trips through N/NE Portland…all the conferences in the world will be in vain.
Next CRC meeting, Tuesday, January 22, 4-8pm, Vancouver Hilton. Stop by and tell the CRC about your vision of a carfree Portland.

Moo
Moo
14 years ago

Funny you should mention the CRC project Lenny, because the pics of the possible design choices are now posted on their web site, and a couple seem to rival something right out of L.A. Folks who once took alternative transportation, would again be back behind the wheel for the easier drive and convenience. Carfree folks be prepared.

Elly Blue (Columnist)
14 years ago

Hey guys, I know it\’s a lot of money. We\’re trying to help out everyone who wants to attend. The scholarship/student rate of $100 (early registration) covers our costs, more or less, for 6 meals, registration kit, venue, and more. If you can\’t afford that amount, I\’m happy to advise you on fundraising strategies — get in touch and we\’ll talk.

Yes, we urgently need to create more carfree activists who are invested in preventing North Portland from turning into LA.

Donna
Donna
14 years ago

I\’m not sure if I can go. I\’m certainly not poor enough for the $100 rate. It all depends on whether my employer can spit out my W-2 real soon and the IRS can get me my tax return before that February 29th cutoff. Keeping my fingers crossed…

Heidi
Heidi
14 years ago

Hello Bike Portland readers! I am coordinating the homestays for conference attendees, so I was very excited to see this post (thanks Jonathan!). The conference runs June 16-20, and if you have any space for the days before or after that, that\’s even better. If are interested in hosting, please drop me a line with your address & phone, what kind of accommodation you have to offer, if you have any bikes to spare, if there are any pets in your home, what span of days you have available, and anything else you feel like sharing. Also feel free to e-mail me with any questions you have. heidi@groxie.com

anomalily
anomalily
14 years ago

Gosh, to a poor little Americorps even the student rate is high. That\’s food for a month!

Perhaps volunteering will give us a discount?