Published: Thursday 31 May 2007

An alternative to car culture?

Almost all of us have, at some point, rued our slavish dependence on cars. But the exasperation has always been fleeting. Most of us bear with traffic congestion and car breakdowns and brave unsafe roads, comforting ourselves with the thought that there are no alternatives. But there actually are. The website under review takes you on a tour to such a world.

Run by the Czech Republic-based, World Carfree Network, the site promotes alternatives to car dependence and car culture, including alternative modes such as cycling, walking and public transport. The network grew out of the activities of Car Busters, an international organisation within the carfree movement.

The movement's activities are presently confined to Europe and the US. But that doesn't take anything away from its relevance.Middle classes in most parts of the Third World have matched their counterparts in the First World for autoholism (to borrow a term made popular by the carfree movement).

Besides links to projects run by the network, the site also connects you to selections from Carbuster magazine--it's put up on the web once in three months.

The magazine arouses an interest in what so many take for granted the highways and byways that shape our lives, sometimes connecting, often dividing us. So click on to the next time you have an excruciating ride.

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