All About The Carfree Cities Alliance

Welcome to our website!

On this page we explain how we operate, who we are, and what are goals are. If after reading this page you still have burning questions, or otherwise want to get in touch, please write us at: downtown@carfreealliance.org

Our mission: supercharge sustainable cities

We cannot continue on our current unsustainable, motorized, profit-focused, globalized course. Genuinely sustainable practices are good for people and communities, good for the environment, good for livelihood and local economies, and good for our planet. For more on our vision of a sustainable city, including the carfree concept, read here.

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This is the Carfree Cities Alliance

We are an international network of individuals and organizations who believe that cities could be vastly better if we were to focus on the needs of people and nature rather than on the needs of motorized vehicles. On the global level, we provide information, tools, and inspiration to partners while we promote the carfree concept. On the local level, we work closely with teams and organizations around the world to create changes in their cities, whether through policy, grassroots events, or a combination of approaches. We believe that all cities, including Dhaka, Cape Town, Amsterdam and São Paolo (all of which have CCA staff or allies), have much to learn from and teach each other about creating truly great cities. See our core team. Visit our regional pages.

Advocacy meets planning, research, campaigning, and policy work 

CCA is a multi-disciplinary team and network of professionals, campaigners, students, planners, advocates, researchers, and more. We believe that the best solutions require the cooperation of a diverse network of people and organizations utilizing different approaches to achieve the same overall goals. We work on transformational urban projects that showcase the possibility of sustainable, resilient cities and communities. Through seminars, demonstrations, petitions to authorities, tactical urbanism, and storytelling in art, film, and social media we demonstrate how cities could benefit from the gradual replacement of motorized traffic with walking, cycling, and efficient public transport. We campaign for better conditions for active mobility, for restrictions on the movement and parking of cars, for improvement of public transit, and for a more ecological and equity-minded vision of cities – from transport to urban planning to local economies.

We believe in the power of local action and involvement

In working to achieve our goals and our mission, we seek to inspire and support our allies and like-minded organizations everywhere. We believe in the power of individuals and collectives to promote visionary ideas that can change the world. Our work involves encouraging and supporting local organizations to create more ambitious goals about what cities could look like if we were to focus on people’s needs, health, and well-being and dramatically reduce the use of motorized vehicles rather than promoting them.

We proudly promote a carfree vision

While many organizations acknowledge that urban transportation systems are in need of reform, CCA takes the position that forging truly livable cities requires immediate shifts away from the pervasive automobile culture. CCA advocates for a comprehensive transition (modal shift) to walking, cycling, and other non-motorized means as well as public transport, and a change from car-dominated spaces to lively civic areas with pedestrian amenities that make people feel welcome and safe, encouraging rich social contacts in our public spaces. At the heart of this is our mission to enable city dwellers everywhere to lead a dignified life.

More than just transport: people, places, and partnerships

CCA believes that we urgently need to redesign our mobility systems. But we are much more than transportation nerds; we are also focused on issues beyond mobility. We put the needs of people and nature first in urban planning as we work to green our cities and neighborhoods. Health and social factors feature prominently in our work, just as early childhood development issues and equity and inclusivity do. We know that people and communities must play an active role in shaping the future of civic spaces and city streets and in increasing resilience as we face the ongoing climate crisis. CCA believes that youth and young leaders are essential stakeholders in forging a sustainable future and the young generation should be centrally active in helping to orchestrate a just transition.

We need cooperation to achieve transformation. And we need to act now.

Our model of change spells out the importance of working with a wide array of stakeholders with diverse opinions and experience in order to bring about the needed transformation of our cities. Steps along the way could include micro-improvements like depaving to plant more trees, pilot projects such as parklets and street festivals, and the introduction of new designs and amenities such as bicycle lanes and conversion of boulevards into greener, carfree spaces. Billions of people are at present forced to live in polluted cities: the WHO air quality model confirms that 92% of the world population lives in places with lower air quality than the WHO guidelines. Meanwhile the climate crisis is too often turning daily life into catastrophe management. Hence we need to take the steps we have pointed to without further delay. For more details, please see Our Model of Change.

Let people try it out for themselves: a better urban environment

We want to kick-start as many micro-improvements as possible, where even temporary changes allow urban dwellers to try out new situations and experience firsthand the numerous advantages that exist and that are technically feasible. Look for inspiration in our Projects Catalogue as well as on our Carfree Places page (too be launched soon).

On the campaign trail

We cannot transform cities through a top-down approach. CCA seeks to support its local partners in carrying out innovative local actions, including transformative projects and campaigning for modal shift to create more livable cities. Local partners themselves determine the course of action and principal focus for their work. Such actions, in turn, can secure community support while highlighting the possibilities of more ambitious steps in the future, thereby creating and sustaining an appetite for positive change within the wider population. Broad-based support will be crucial in order to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning, mobility, and ecology. For more visit our Campaign Page.

CCA welcomes newcomers

CCA seeks to “mainstream the carfree concept” by making our approach known to ever more people and gaining ever more supporters. We hope that the many voices passionately working towards a more sustainable and just world will see the beauty of our vision of future cities and link up with us. We believe that some of our skeptics, if they take the time to examine our model more closely, will come to see its vast potential. We hope you will join our team, giving us more strength through numbers and through the wisdom of your own experiences.


We are happy to hear from you. Come visit us downtown@carfreealliance.org.