Towards Car-Free Cities I

Lyon 1997 

Towards Carfree Cities I, held from October 26 to November 1, 1997 in Lyon, France, was the first of our conference series and very well attended, with 65 activists representing 50 groups from 21 countries. It was organised by EYFA ("European Youth For Action", formerly known as "European Youth Forest Action"), Amsterdam.

The seven days were filled with movement-building meetings, workshops and a public day of round-table discussions and debates; they shook France's second largest city with three protest actions that kept the conference on the television news every day of the week. The programme included:

- "Public Day", subtitled "Day of Reflection on the Alternatives to the Car in the City", in Lyon's center of regional government, "la COURLY", with presentations on green city planning (J.H. Crawford, author of "Carfree Cities"), Eastern European perspectives, and a slideshow on alternative transport and two roundtable discussions ("When will car use in urban areas decrease?" and "Reasons the public resists change in transportation habits", with Wolfgang Zuckermann, author of the classic "End of the Road"). Over 200 people attended throughout the day.
- Workshop on the design and implementation of car-free cities in existing metropolitan regions, with J.H. Crawford (see below "The Lyon Protocol").
- Discussion groups, with titles such as "Women and traffic", "Actions against car advertising" and "Uses of public space".
- Skill-trainings on "car walking" (with Michael Hartmann), bicycle repair, fundraising, and building giant tripods to make road blockades.
- Streetfest on downtown square, closed off for cars.
- Several public actions like an anti-car demonstration in the heart of downtown.

Not to forget: "Car Busters" was born during the conference, which was later, after the Towards Carfree Cities III conference (Prague 2003), renamed into "World Carfree Network", while keeping the name for the magazine.

Conference announcement:

- "Car-Free Lyon", by J.H. Crawford, in: Carfree Times #3, Summer 1997.

Post conference reports:

- "Lyon: Towards Car-Free Cities", by J.H. Crawford, in: Carfree Times #4, Fall 1997.

- "Lyon Libere - `Towards Car-Free Cities´ conference hits France", by Randy Ghent, in: Carbusters #1, 1998.

The Lyon Protocol:

A protocol for the conversion of existing cities to the carfree model was developed and presented during the conference.

- "The Lyon Protocol - The Design And Implementation Of Large Carfree Districts In Existing Cities", in: Carfree.com, 1997.

- "The Lyon Protocol Revisited", by J.H. Crawford, in: Carfree Times #54, 10 June 2009, first published (article only in printed version) in Carbusters #37, Spring 2009.

Conference Movie:

About 35 minutes, as RM/RAM file (RealPlayer):

- very low quality (16 MB), Stream or Download.

- slightly better quality (60 MB), available via WCN`s ICC.

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 This page was last updated 14 March 2012