"Medieval Urbanism in Morocco: Lessons for the Modern World" Bay Area slide presentations by Randy Ghent of World Carfree Network "Medieval Urbanism in Morocco: Lessons for the Modern World"
Bay Area slide presentations by Randy Ghent of World Carfree Network

Bay Area showings April 20-May 3, 2004

Experience Carfree Morocco.
Getting lost in the maze of Morocco's medinas (medieval pedestrian cities) offers us a rare opportunity to immerse ourselves in the history of urban form, experiencing the past first-hand in the present. Through this visual exercise, we temporarily distance ourselves from contemporary urban design, giving us the perspective to recognize its many failings. In the process, we learn how a dense, compact urban habitat can be built without dependence on motorized or mechanized transport, while providing the necessary preconditions for a rich and vibrant public life. The presentation consists of a brisk and entrancing 100 slides in 45 minutes, followed by questions and discussion.   [Full Transcript

Randy Ghent co-founded Car Busters in 1997 in Lyon, France, while working as a coordinator of the Towards Car-Free Cities I conference. Since 1997, he has been based in Lyon, Melbourne and Prague as a full-time staff member of the Car Busters collective, with a diverse range of roles and projects. From 1998-2000, he was European Correspondent for Adbusters magazine. From 1992-1997 he was office manager of the Alliance for a Paving Moratorium/Fossil Fuels Policy Action Institute in California, where he served as editor of the Auto-Free Times. Randy previously gave this presentation at the Towards Carfree Cities III conference in Prague, 2003.

All shows wheelchair accessible unless otherwise noted.

Post-Presentations Synopsis:

The presentations were very well received and each had its own special qualities. In all, six presentations and one radio show (archived below). The presentation to the bicycle coalition lead to much discussion of class; the Palo Alto crowd was warmly receptive; the show above the Berkeley campus (in the westerly Wurster's Wizard's tower) was intimate, serene, yet riveting; the show after San Francisco Critical Mass was magical if disruptively eruptive -- the crowd was very fiesty from pouring through the streets and then creating a whirling velodrome/bike disco in the outdoor palacial arched dome at the Palace of Fine Arts, complete with dance music and performances (live carfree rapper Fossil Fool had the crowd howling, and a becostumed violin player giving us traditional folk songs of the UK had the crowd clapping, stomping, dancing and prancing); the Ecology Center show received announcements about local events and issues (such as Berkeley Bike Month, and the Vista College transporation issue) from the sponsoring groups given to a large crowd of diverse and well-educated folks, many of whom are working on related issues (from transportation and land use to issues of the Middle East) leading to a very detailed discussion of the intricacies of life in Morocco and a call for ever more data and analysis, even asking how many donkeys serve the 156,000 residents (280, with 210 for good transport and 70 for waste). Randy quickly pointed out that a modern carfree city need not rely on donkeys; and the final show, at the Long Haul infocafe, was perhaps the best show of all in terms of visual quality, diversity of the crowd and the impassioned discussion afterward which focused most on, "What can we do?" in order to transform our cities for a life independent of cars? After a delicious vegan meal, attendees filled every available inch of space (setting the feel for a trip into dense and socially vibrant Morocco), piling up the stairs and squatting in the aisles. The enormous screen and very dark room gave the largest and most crisp representation of the images of all the venues, and raised the most funds for this very low-budget tour.

We have video of the Ecology Center presentation (and some bits of the SF presentation and the ride before it) which can be copied for a suitable donation or for a good cause (to reach the most people). Randy hopes to find someone with a slide scanner so that his presentation can be placed online, as well as so the highest image quality may be inserted into the video piece. If you would like to donate to help defray the costs of this production, please do DONATE.

Past Opportunities:

Tuesday, April 20, 8:30 PM

    Oakland's Rockridge Branch Library, 5366 College Ave, at Manila. The presentation will occur at the end of the business session of the monthly meeting of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition. The meeting begins at 7:30pm this month, and the presentation begins at 8:30 PM.

Wednesday, April 21, 7:30 PM
Transportation And Land Use Coalition (TALC) Regional Meeting
Sierra Club, 85 Second St., 3rd Floor
San Francisco (corner of Mission, near Montgomery BART)

    (Tentative - not presented.)
    Pizza, sandwiches and salad served during the main meeting, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM. This will be the first meeting where there is an optional orientation for new folks from 5:00 - 5:30 p.m. During the final hour of the meeting, we will break up into four working groups that will help develop strategies on each of our main campaigns. Strategic Plan and Campaign Development; RTP Land Use Campaign; Defending the Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Program; South Bay Save Our Transit Campaign; Please Join Us! The slide show occurs after the meeting. 7:30 PM. Check the TALC website or call 510-740-3150. (Not-quite-definite but a great meeting even without the presentation.)

Thursday, April 22
KPFA Radio, 94.1 FM
12:15 PM to 1:00 PM (PST)

Wednesday, April 28, 7:30 PM
Palo Alto

Thursday, April 29, 3:30-5:00 PM
UC Berkeley
Wurster Hall, room 1000 (10th floor).

    Wurster Hall is located just north of the intersection of College and Bancroft Way, in the southeast corner of campus. This presentation is sponsored by the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Apologies: we were misinformed about the location of this room. It is on the 10th floor which is actually NOT wheelchair accessible. It is a beautiful room with an expansive bay view, perfect for an intimate showing once the curtains are drawn. We will organize volunteers to help anyone up the stairs to the greatest extent possible.

Friday, April 30, 8-ish
Post-Critical Mass
Palace of Fine Arts
San Francisco

    Will occur after the SF Critical Mass ride. Outdoor slideshow. Warm clothing recommended in case it's cold. Traditional Moroccan music may be offered during the pre-show interlude.

Saturday, May 1st
7-9 PM
Berkeley Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Avenue (near Dwight Way)

Sunday, May 2nd
7:30-9:30 PM
Infocafe night at the Long Haul
3124 Shattuck Avenue (at Woolsey, across from La Peña)

    Vegan fare will be served at 7:30, presentation at 8:30, $3-$5 donation requested benefits World Carfree Network. The Long Haul is located just two blocks east of Ashby BART, across from La Peña Cultural Center, one block south of the Starry Plow.

This website is maintained and donated by the Bicycle Civil Liberties Union.
Speaking series was coordinated by Jason Meggs of the BCLU.
BCLU is a member group of the World Carfree Network.