Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City

Your editor was kindly invited by Mayor Hau Lung-pin to come to Taipei City this year to discuss preparations for the celebration of the city’s tenth successive Car Free Day — and as part of this collaborative brainstorming process to draw on my experience of some seventeen years working with this, one hopes, transformative transportation approach in different cities around the world.

After ten years even the greatest poet in China should change his name and change his village.

This year’s Green Transportation Forum gave me an opportunity to meet once again with many old friends and distinguished colleagues working in the sector, to hear about the progress the city has made in working with this approach in this first decade. In all I ended up spending a full week in the city and the surrounding region, in order to have a better appreciation of the overall transportation situation, which of course is what the Car Free Days are supposed to be all about.

The goal of the Green Transportation Forum was to lay the way for the CFD X celebrations on Thursday, the 22nd of September. And if you turn to the closing annex here you will find a summary of the principal events organized by the Taipei city team for this year’s celebration.

But after ten years might it not be a good time to think about making some major structural changes in the CFD formula and procedures, perhaps with a goal to being more ambitious about what we would like them to achieve for the city in the decade ahead? The Forum gave us an opportunity to compare notes on this. We had a lively time brainstorming on this topic, and I believe came up with some interesting ideas for next steps , as you will see in the following summary.

In closing I would like to thank Mayor Hau and his team for a warm welcome and highly efficient series of events. Every time I come to Taiwan I end up learning a great deal and this visit was no exception. Thank you all.

- Eric Britton, World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda, Paris. 11 October 2011

* Click here for full report: Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City

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