Car free mega cities

Popularising the idea of a car-free future
DKK 4,282,361
Programme Area
Sustainable Behaviour

London, Paris and New York; where these cities lead, others will potentially follow. Popularising the idea of
a car-free future in this trinity of iconic metropolises could unleash the potential for all cities to depend solely on viable alternatives for transportation. A bit further down the road, this poses an opportunity to ultimately disincentivise the largest source of transport emissions: private cars.

The climate network Possible aims to raise policy and public support for urban car reduction to meet climate change targets in the Paris Agreement. Transport emissions are emerging as one of the most persistent sectoral sources of carbon, not merely refusing to fall but still very much in the rise.

Realising that electronic cars are no silver bullet to solve this problem, Possible has launched the Car Free Mega Cities project as a two-year intervention to reimagine cities as places where private cars are entirely obsolete. The network thereby takes on the extremely difficult task to shift patterns of behaviour away from car use and change the unwillingness of many to even countenance alternatives.

Possible (formerly 10:10 Climate Action) is a communications-oriented UK charity established in 2009 with a proven track record of supporting personal and community-level practical, positive action to reduce emissions. Relaunched in London in 2019, Possible helps people to address five key areas of climate mitigation in which personal agency and community-level action have the most important role to play; the first of these is car culture. Through securing mainstream media coverage for their work, Possible has earned a reputation for high quality communications, creativity and innovation since its original 10 percent campaign in 2010.

Aims of the project:

  • Co-create and popularise a shared vision of how cities could be much better places to live without private cars.
  • Raise public awareness of the viability and attractiveness of alternatives to private cars
  • Develop a maximum-ambition, granular, sequenced roadmap to car-free status by 2030 in each city.
  • Develop political strategy to win much more ambitious manifesto commitments on car ownership and use in upcoming city elections.
  • Make public perceptions of the idea of a car-free London, Paris or New York by 2030 go from alien, shocking and inconceivable to familiar, attractive and believable amongst the electorates of those cities
  • Official city authority and other key stakeholder positions on going car-free shift from viewing this as fanciful and utopian to viewing it as a serious, credible and potentially necessary policy option.
"Most big cities were never designed to accommodate the vast numbers of vehicles they now endure. For example, getting 42-58 percent of cars off the streets could increase green space by 10 percent, meaning New York could gain around four new Central Parks"
KR Foundation, Annual Report 2020