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Books, Guides & More

Want to learn more about auto dependency or living carfree or with one less car? Here we’ve listed some of the books and resources we know about.

The Car and the City: 24 Steps to Safe Streets and Healthy Communities
By Alan Thein Durning
ISBN: 1886093032
“Bristling with facts about the actual cost of cars and car infrastructure and moved along by the success story of Vancouver, B.C.'s West End neighborhood, this book includes suggestions for improving the livability of cities, running the gamut from city planning solutions to innovative ideas for auto insurance. The author profiles Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver by car, train, bicycle and foot.”

Carfree Cities
This website is related to the book of the same name by J. H. Crawford. Also check out their bi-monthly electronic newsletter, Carfree Times.

Divorce Your Car! Ending the Love Affair with the Automobile
By Katie Alvord
ISBN: 0865714088
“Our romance with cars, begun with enthusiasm more than 100 years ago, has in fact become a very troubled entanglement. On a collective level, divorcing cars can bring us cleaner air, clearer water, less noise, and friendlier communities. It can foster better transportation options, more compact cities, and correspondingly more farmland, wildlife habitat, and parks. On a personal level, it can be incredibly liberating, bringing less stress, more money, better health and fitness, reduced risk of accidental death, and a simpler lifestyle. Divorcing your car can take many forms, from simply using it less to not owning one at all. This practical guide shows how divorcing a car can be fun, healthy, money-saving and helpful to the planet in the process.”

How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl and the Roads Not Taken
By Alex Marshall
ISBN: 0292752407
“To build better cities, Marshall asserts, we must understand and intelligently direct the forces that shape them. Without prescribing any one solution, he defines the key issues facing all concerned citizens who are trying to control urban sprawl and build real communities. He points out, as few new urbanists do, that cities exist for the economic advantage of its citizens and that it is the transportation system that ultimately determines the form of regions.”

How to Live Well Without Owning a Car: Save Money, Breathe Easier & Get More Mileage Out of Life
By Chris Balish
ISBN: 978158008757
“Chris Balish knows from personal experience that getting on the path to financial freedom is as easy as getting rid of one of your cars - or your only car. "Most people spend between $500 and $800 a month to own a car. That's a really high fixed cost," he says. This book walks readers through the process of transitioning to a car-free or car-light lifestyle. With the success of programs like the One Less Car Challenge in Seattle, people all over are realizing that they really can live well with just one car per family. Or if you're single, without a car entirely. It's hard to justify the high fixed cost of owning two cars anymore.”

Stuck in Traffic: Coping With Peak-Hour Traffic Congestion
By Anthony Downs
ISBN: 081571923X
“Anthony Downs looks at the causes of worsening traffic congestion, especially in suburban areas, and considers the possible remedies. He analyzes the specific advantages and disadvantages of every major strategy that has been proposed to reduce congestion. In non-technical language, he focuses on two central issues: the relationships between land-use and traffic flow in rapidly growing areas, and whether local policies can effectively reduce congestion or if more regional approaches are necessary.”

Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence
By Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy
ISBN: 1559636602
“The authors make the case that the essential character of a city's land use results from how it manages its transportation, and that only by reducing our automobile dependence will we be able to successfully accommodate all elements of the sustainability agenda. They provide an updated survey of global cities that examines a range of sustainability factors and indicators, and, using a series of case studies, demonstrate how cities around the world are overcoming the problem of automobile dependence. They also examine the connections among transportation and other issues - including water use and cycling, waste management, greening the urban landscape and more.”

Know of other great books, guides or magazines on the subject of automobile dependency or living car-free? Let us know!
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