The "Carfree Design Manual" is the sequel to J.H. Crawford's "Carfree Cities". In that book he argued that the quality of life in carfree cities is much higher than in practically all large cities today. The disadvantages of cars are clear: air pollution, noise, danger, time spent in traffic jams, ugliness, financial costs etc. He argues that a car free city can deliver everything we need without the disadvantages of cars and without any real disadvantage. Because cars use much space (wide roads, parking places at home, at the office, at shopping malls etc.), people can live much closer together in a carfree city (this won't be a nuisance: compare, he says, how it feels in Venice without any cars but with a very high population density, to any carful city - Venice just doesn't feel overcrowded or disagreeable). With very plausible parameters, he's designed a carfree city for 1 million inhabitants (with lots of green space) where you can reach any destination within 35mn by metro and foot (including waiting time).
Crawford limits his conclusions to cities. For the countryside, he believes that cars will remain a necessity.
The "Carfree Design Manual" elaborates many points made in "Carfree Cities" and makes many proposals to design cities with a high quality of living: the way houses, blocks, neighbourhoods etc are conceived, the way we think of streets, squares, parks etc. Many stimulating ideas both for carfree hopefuls and for anyone else interested in a high quality neighbourhood.
Moreover, the books is beautiful: it contains many photo's (more than one par page) and many maps, drawings etc.
A shortcoming of the manual is that its ideas seem more ready to apply to a new neighbourhood than to help you transform an existing one.
Overall: very interesting but read "Carfree Cities" first.