The Book: Carfree Cities

The Book: Carfree Cities

What Others Say


James Howard Kunstler

"The fruits of the last century's romance with the automobile can now be seen in hundreds of mutilated cities around the world. There should be no question anymore that the future will compel us to reduce the presence of cars in our daily lives. J.H. Crawford's fine book launches a major cultural project for the 21st century - to recreate an everyday environment that is worth caring about and worth living in."

James Howard Kunstler is the author of
Home from Nowhere and other books

Nikos A. Salingaros

"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."

Nikos A. Salingaros is Professor of Mathematics at the
University of Texas at San Antonio. His areas of work include
mathematics applied to architecture and urbanism.

Eric Britton

"Carfree Cities offers up a vision of a sustainable city that provides an exceptional quality of life for its citizens. No science-fiction odyssey, this carefully illustrated book sketches out a number of ways to move toward car-free cities, using proven technologies. A must read for not only for the academics and students, but for anyone who cares about people and cities."

Eric Britton is the founder of
EcoPlan International and The Commons (Paris)

Planning in London

"In a beautifully presented volume which is rich with historic and contemporary references to guiding historic precedents and the ideologic errors of 20th century planning, the author sees the carfree city as the cornerstone of sustainable development. He outlines a structure carefuly designed to maximise the quality of life for people and communities worldwide."

Brian Waters
Issue 36 (Jan/Mar 2001)


"[Crawford] has assembled his ideas and visions in a handsome volume, lavishly illustrated and well supported with a generous number of often stunning black-and-white photos."

P.O. Muller
November 2000, Vol. 38 No. 3

Ecos 21

"A radical look at planning and designing cities to reclaim them for human activity. This elegant book is packed with examples and inspiration from across the world, examining traditional and new ways of separating people from cars."

21 (2), 2000

Regeneration & Renewal

It is both a practical and thoughtful book, attempting to identify some rules and principles relating to issues such as density and public realm, whilst trying to develop a more instinctive feel for what creates successful car-free urban environments. Recommended source material for those interested in a car-free future.

Nick Dodd in
Regeneration & Renewal
8 February 2001

Juris Greste

Crawford puts forward a well considered case for why we should have cities without cars and then offers a carefully thought out model of a contemporary city that could function without cars the way we use them today....

This is also a book about ideas, for dreamers who say "why not" instead of "it will never work."

For Urban Briefs


An unapologetic argument for car-free cities, the book works from the position that the car-free city is the cornerstone of sustainable development and outlines a city structure carefully designed to maximise quality of life world-wide. It gives practical suggestions for gradually implementing the reference design in existing and new cities.


Publishers Weekly

Carfree Cities offers a plan for carbon monoxide [sic] reduced new cities and advice for adapting existing ones, including New York.


Brian Richards

This is a serious attempt to think through all the factors in making a car-free environment work. ...this book helps focus on what could be a new lifestyle.

In Building Design


Colin Wing

Opportunities to create new cities are obviously rare... Instead, this book proposes retrofitting car-free design to a number of existing cities, including Lyon, Amsterdam and Manhattan.

In London Cyclist


Walther Schoonenberg

The author shows that if cities free themselves from automobilism, everyone wins.

In Amsterdam Inner City Magazine [Binnenstad Amsterdam]


Peter Neal

Thoroughly recommended as a useful resource for all planners.

Author of Urban Villages
At the INTBAU site


Add a blurb - send mail to J.H. Crawford.

On-Line Reviews

The following on-line reviews may also be of interest:

Neal Peirce discussed the book and the carfree concept at some length in the International Herald Tribune of 14 February 2001 and in other papers. The column is also available at Common Dreams.

Dr. T.J. Binkley's review

Boekbespreking: 'Carfree Cities' van J.H. Crawford (Dutch only).

Carfree Cities by J.H. Crawford at Green Muze (22 September 2008)

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Copyright ©2000-2002 J. Crawford