CARFREE TOKYO

- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Car Free Day in Japan

In contrast to American rock and roll ideas about freedom and mobility, the Car Free Day is a celebration of human mobility, started way back when in Europe and now an annual event as part of Mobility Week.


An ever growing number of Japanese cities is participating in this event, with the 松本カーフリーデー above a regular participant, closing of a number of streets to automobiles.

Nine Japanese cities participated in 2009, according to Japan for Sustainability, and one can only hope this event grows even bigger, as Japanese city centres are surely ripe for more car-free zones.

The whole stretch between Matsumoto Station and the famous 烏城 or Raven Castle is an obvious candidate. One of my favourite candidates in Tokyo is the whole area around Jiyugaoka station. A popular high density urban transit node and trendy shopping district, the area is an intricate network of narrow streets and always seems to be a mess of cars still attempting, often aggressively, to assert their right of passage in what has become a defacto pedestrian zone.

1 comment:

Miami Ram said...

Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u...



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