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Carfree Cities [Paperback]

J. H. Crawford
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.95
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2002 9057270420 978-9057270420 New edition
In this volume filled with historical and contemporary references to guiding historic precedents and ideological errors of 20th-century planning, the author sets up the carfree city as the cornerstone of sustainable development. This book outlines a structure carefully designed to maximize the quality of life for people and communities worldwide. Also available in cloth, 9057270374.

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Product Description


Carfree Cities offers up a vision of a sustainable city that provides an exceptional quality of life for its citizens. . . . A must read not only for academics and students, but for anyone who cares about people and cities.” —Eric Britton, Ecoplan International and The Commons, Paris

About the Author

J. H. Crawford has worked as a consultant, designer, photographer, editor, and writer.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagining a Better City Nov. 23 2005
Full of interesting ideas, and written in readable text, this is an excellent book imagining the city without the automobile.
He starts out by expounding on the problem: why cars in cities are bad. From environmental pollution to safety threats, he covers all the negatives about automobiles.
Then he offers a theoretical solution: a reference design for a carfree city. It incorporates a large amount of public space and green space with moderately dense development. The city is based around small, pedestrian friendly districts connected by a rail-based metro (subway) or tram (streetcar) system. He also covers additional problems like the transportation of freight and emergency vehicles.
The last portion of the book offers some more practical suggestions for transforming existing cities, creating new ones, and alternatives. Well researched, well documented, and very creative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Rx for an unhealthy planet Oct. 16 2001
What can we do about smog, traffic congestion, traffic fatalities, excessive energy consumption, unhealthy lifestyles, and sprawl, among others? The author identifies a solution to this problem, and surprisingly, one that has been proven in a number of countries. We have been sleepwalking into undesirable land use patterns (sprawl) for so long that we take it for granted that it is normal. Yet we complain about all the serious problems sprawl creates as though we can do nothing about it. For the first time, the solution by J.H. Crawford addresses these concerns with a carefully thought-out, well-supported framework: the carfree planning approach. Outrageous as this may first sound, it is already being practiced in many cities around the globe, notably in Europe. Cars are not totally removed from the equation, but serve less frequent, more focused roles. With oil resources steadily dwindling, such a proposal merits top-shelf prominence among visionary planners and developers alike. This book has changed my land use planning outlook completely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Traffic Solution April 28 2000
Would you like to live in a truly genuine community: where local shopkeepers, familiar faces, and quiet streets recreate the small-town ambience so many of us crave? ...And yet the magic and excitement of the city is also just fifteen minutes away... aboard a fast, safe, clean, energy-efficient train ( a metro, that stops at your stop every four minutes, all hours of the day, and continues running all night)?
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carfree Cities by Joel Crawford Nov. 13 2000
Carfree Cities is a pathbreaking work that outlines how human beings can live in an urban environment entirely free from cars. As someone working to uncover mathematical forces that shape urban form, I appreciate Crawford's efforts and applaud his conclusions. I personally believe that the city of the future will have to combine many different means of transportation, including the hated/loved car, but it is not clear to most planners how to achieve this. Crawford's book provides a well thought-out plan for pedestrian life, which, in the hands of an enlightened urbanist, can be used to drastically improve the quality of existing cities.
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.
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