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1 Avoiding car ownership: a key element in progress towards carfree cities Richard Gilbert Consultant in Transport and Energy, Toronto Research Director,

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Presentation on theme: "1 Avoiding car ownership: a key element in progress towards carfree cities Richard Gilbert Consultant in Transport and Energy, Toronto Research Director,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Avoiding car ownership: a key element in progress towards carfree cities Richard Gilbert Consultant in Transport and Energy, Toronto Research Director, Centre for Sustainable Transportation University of Winnipeg, Canada Presentation to TOWARDS CARFREE CITIES IV Bogotá, Colombia September 22, 2006 Enquiries to Web site:

2 2 Automobile use is getting out of hand This scale is kilometres moved annually per person, for all the worlds population. MOVING PEOPLE

3 3 Beyond a certain point, auto costs exceed benefits Environmental costs: global and local pollution from production, use, and disposal of vehicles, fuels, and infrastructure Resource use: for worldwide production of some 50 million vehicles a year now, and their fuels and infrastructure, and 200 million a year with worldwide motorization? Economic costs: a huge investment for what is mostly a means to other ends rather than an end in itself Social costs: with hypermobility societies may become more polarized, more dispersed, more anonymous, less child- friendly, less culturally distinctive, less physically healthy, more crime-ridden, and less democratic

4 4 This presentations argument Car ownership is the major cause of car use Carfree cities require reduced car ownership Low car ownership requires a special milieu Not owning a car must be advantageous Planning urban regions: the EANO principle

5 5 The basic causal relationships are these: 1.Affluence leads to car ownership 2.Car ownership leads to car use Can we focus on breaking Link 1 rather than Link 2?

6 6 Rates of ownership of personal automobiles and per capita GDP, various countries

7 7 Distance driven per vehicle, several countries, The annual distance moved by each car on average is remarkably constant

8 8 The case of Hong Kong 1 Among the wealthiest cities in the world Has the lowest car ownership and use Ownership is costly and inconvenient Carrying things is the main reason for purchase The few car owners use their cars for everything

9 9 The case of Hong Kong 2 Hong Kong is among the densest of cities It has astonishingly good public transport It is a major transport hub (airport and seaport) Good local transport is a business issue Accessibility makes business efficient Dense, steamy Hong Kong is a healthy place

10 10 Weekday trips per resident Weekday motorized trips per resident according to car ownership, 38 European and U.S. cities As car ownership grows, people make more motorized trips

11 11 Ratio of trips by public transport to trips by car Relative use of public transport in relation to car ownership As car ownership grows, people make more of their trips by car

12 12 Discouraging car ownership may be better than discouraging use directly High use costs cause cars to be driven less; but high ownership costs achieve more because they result in fewer cars on the road, and less overall pollution. Restraints on ownership can have a negative economic impact, but so can any move toward sustainable transport. Restraining ownership by price is as (un)democratic as restraining use by price. Rationing access to cars by tradable entitlements is the democratic solution. High ownership costs reduce early replacement of vehicles, and thus the environmental impacts of production and disposal of vehicles; the advantages of new technology can be captured with appropriate regulations for vehicles on the road. Lower ownership levels result in more political support for collective transport, and a smaller constituency for unsustainable transport.

13 13 EANO = Equal Advantage for Non-Ownership Every part of every urban region should be developed and organised so that the advantages of not owning a car are at least equal to the advantages of owning a car.

14 14 Amenities and services for living without a car 1 proximity: schools, stores, and recreational and cultural facilities within a walk, a bicycle ride or a short public transport journey safe and enticing routes along which to walk or ride a bicycle good public transport, which in lower-density areas will include demand-driven service to the door or to nearby pick-up and set-down points

15 15 Amenities and services for living without a car 2 ready access to places of employment and to the services that support home-based employment delivery services for the carriage of purchased goods and for other purposes car-sharing services for longer or special trips excellent information about all of the above.

16 16 The economics of no car ownership No imports of fuel and cars No working one or two days a week for a car No massive infrastructure for roads and parking No infrastructure costs for sprawl No health costs from car pollution


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