World Carfree Network uses the term “carfree movement” rather broadly, to refer to:
- those promoting alternatives to car dependence and car culture, including alternative modes such as cycling, walking and public transport;
- those promoting carfree lifestyle choices, within either a car-dependent, car-lite* or carfree local context;
- those promoting the building of (usually mixed-use) carfree environments# on either brownfield or greenfield sites (usually sited to ensure easy access to a variety of non-automotive transport modes);
- those promoting carfree days, using the events as tools to bring about long-term on-the-ground change in infrastructure and priorities (example: Bogota); and
- those promoting the transformation of existing villages, towns and cities (or parts of them) into carfree environments.#
* Car-lite – Either a person or place that is not completely carfree, but uses or allows for a variety of alternative transport modes in addition to the car. (Car-lite environments tend to still devote at least half the street space to the automobile, with street widths usually similar to those in car-dependent environments.) The New Urbanists – an influential North American group of architects, developers and planners – are an example of people who promote and build car-lite environments, expressly stating that the automobile must be accommodated.
# Carfree environments – Places that do not accommodate (permit the entry of) automobiles. (An “environment” can be a an entire village, town or city; a portion of a village, town or city; or a place such as a resort, intentional community or university.) Some carfree environments allow motorised vehicles for deliveries and emergency services; other such places use non-motorised alternatives for some or all of these purposes, which is preferable if feasible. Some carfree environments have peripheral parking, and are thus still somewhat car-dependent; therefore solutions should be sought to avoid this. Some people take things a step further and work to encourage local use of local products, thus reducing the dependence of their carfree environment on long-distance goods transport and supporting the local economy over the transnational economy.