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Transportation

How Vancouver Became North America's Car-Free Capital

The city hit a 50 percent “active transit” target, 5 years ahead of schedule. A short film shows how they did it.
Vancouver covers its waterfront.
Vancouver covers its waterfront.Chris Helgren/Reuters

Vimeo: Vancouver's Multi-Modal Success Story

When it comes to nudging drivers out of cars, Vancouver ranks as North America’s biggest success story. Fully 10 percent of commutes to work are on bikes, far exceeding U.S. and Canadian cities of a comparable size. As of 2015, half of all trips within city limits are taken on foot, bike, or transit—a goal the city had hoped to reach by 2020. Ahead of schedule—and way ahead of its peers on this continent—Vancouver’s “active transit” success is the subject of a new short documentary by STREETFILMS. In interviews with key planning officials and advocates in attendance at a summer 2016 placemaking conference, filmmaker Clarence Eckerson traces the city’s remarkable urban trajectory and shows how Vancouver managed to avoid the planning pitfalls that claimed so many other towns over the past few decades.