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Carfree Cities Paperback – November 1, 2002
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The first part of the book argues the case for carfee cities. He outlines all the drawbacks to what he calls the autocentric city. He explains the cost in terms of health, economics and sociology. In my case he was preaching to the choir, but this part was still fun to read.
The second and main part of the book describes how to achieve his vision. He emphasizes current technology although some of the uses are innovative, like the use of subways for delivering freight. Included is an interesting tutorial on containerized shipping, which is a major component of his plan. In reading this I was able to visualize life in the carfree city. At most a five minute walk to public transportation followed by a leisurely ride of at most 25 minutes and then another walk of at most 5 minutes. 35 minutes from any part of a city of up to one million people to any other part. Each stop of the subway or tram is the center of a separate district, which he visualizes in the European style of a piazza with streets radiating out from it. The narrow streets are filled with shops, houses and parks and pedestrians meeting and greeting one another. This is where I want to live!
In the final part of the book he describes how to reach his vision. He understands that before becoming universal the plan must be tested and perfected before people will become convinced. First single districts will have to be tried. Then parts of existing cities will need to be re-engineered.Read more ›
Would you enjoy living in a place where the kids can get to school in the morning; to soccer practice in the afternoon; to grandma's over the weekend; and to their friend's house anytime.... without having to ask mom for a ride? Where senior citizens may sit in nearby parks while children play; instead of being sentenced to the isolation of a retirement 'community'? ... Where they can reach the nearby doctor or the market on foot?
For the intrigued skeptic, J. H. Crawford's, "Carfree Cities" provides a comprehensive review of existing, successful patterns of urban development; as well as several proven technologies for conveniently and efficiently transporting people and freight. The accompanying website... offers a quarterly update of developments in a few new car free residential neighborhoods ( in Amsterdam, Vienna and Hamburg ); as well as the popular and growing car free districts in many historic city centers: in Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere. Crawford, a former public transport ombudsman for the State of New Jersey, combines the best of all of this into a brilliantly coherent Reference Design for a car free city. A benchmark, which can be adapted to fit the unique needs and topography of almost any area.Read more ›
Therefore, while I don't necessarily accept Crawford's total exclusion of cars, I find his solutions vitally important to the future of cities. Furthermore, I don't think that anyone would have taken him seriously unless he did what he has done: to show that a totally carfree solution is possible. Not only is it possible, but Crawford has shown that it is both feasible and practical. Congratulations to him for this outstanding work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've come to the conclusion that most of my thoughts are not original. Someone has usually thought of what I am pondering before me. Read morePublished 19 months ago by PizzaMan5000
I love this book, and it should be on the syllabus for first year architects and town planners. However, it is utopian and falls to bits at the end where he attempts to retrofit... Read morePublished on September 6, 2009 by wilful
There is no better time to consider the building of a car free city than now, and this is one of the best books out there on the topic. Read morePublished on January 5, 2008 by Bike runner
Crawford does an excellent job of opening up your mind to the possibilities of a world without cars. Read morePublished on January 4, 2008 by Book guy
Mr. Crawford has done us all a great service by crafting a wonderfully readable book that beautifully blends vision and practicality. Read morePublished on December 13, 2005 by Robert J. Howal
There is a very desirable lifestyle possible between that of urban tenement slum and suburban car slum, and this book charts the way. Read morePublished on July 7, 2005 by Pete Shoemaker
More than half of the world's petrol sources have already been exhausted, and now, with rapidly industrializing countries with huge populations like China and India, demand and... Read morePublished on June 23, 2005 by Nicholas Miller
I consider Carfree Cities to be a landmark text with excitingpossibilities to reverse the decimation of our cities, our society,our open spaces including wilderness and farmland,... Read morePublished on August 1, 2000 by Jason Meggs