Millions of people around the world drive automobiles daily. People use automobiles for countless reasons, such as a commute to work, errands or pleasure. If you do not have a car, you may feel immobile or intimidated by your surroundings. There are many types of places in the world that allow you to live comfortably if you are not a driver.
Cities with Good Public Transportation Systems
If you do not have a car but need to travel long distances quickly, you will want to live in a city with a good public transportation system. A good public transportation system will allow you to reach most corners of a city by way of trains and buses. London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Hong Kong and Moscow all have fairly good public transit systems. Depending on your needs within a city, some will be better than others.
Cities with Low Crime
If you will be walking around a city without a car, it is important to consider the crime statistics for that area. A perfectly safe large city is impossible to find, but some cities are statistically safer than others. Some of the safer big cities in the United States are Austin, Colorado Springs and Portland. However, city-wide statistics may not be personally relevant if you will concentrate your life in a small selection of neighborhoods within a city. In this case, it is wise to talk to residents of those neighborhoods about any safety concerns you might have.
Bicycles are a great way to move around any area, but biking in some cities can be quite dangerous. Some of the best cities in the United States for biking are Portland, San Francisco, Madison, Chicago and New York. As a city gets larger, it is more difficult to accommodate bikes throughout the entire city. Chicago and New York, for example, have certain areas that are much better for bikes than others, though both have strong bike-centered communities.
If the demands of your life are not excessive, a small town might be the best place for you to live without a car. Depending on the layout of the town, it could be extremely easy to get around the entire area by foot or bike. Some small towns, however, are extremely spread out. In this case, a car is actually a useful thing. Research the layout of the town before deciding to live there without a car.
Farms and Other Self-Sufficient Communities
There are many other living situations that provide sustainable conditions for non-drivers. Farms, while often involving some sort of machinery or vehicles for getting to places like a market, can be wonderfully self-sustaining in the right setting. There are also thousands of alternative communities and towns around the world that provide the necessities of living close at hand, eliminating the need for a car.