a day without cars

Can you imagine a sprawling city without any cars? While it might sound a little apocalyptic, Paris plans to go completely car-free for one entire day for the first time ever. On Sunday, September 27, 2015, the French capital will turn into a pedestrian and bicycle utopia for A Day Without Cars, in which tourists and locals alike will be able to enjoy the city without anxiety-inducing traffic congestion, blaring horns, and clouds of exhaust fumes.

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a day without cars

Photo via Roger W/Flickr

To take a stand against the effects pollution has on the city, officials in Paris decided to shut down traffic for the day across even the most popular areas, such as the Left Bank, Champs Élysées, Bastille, and the Eiffel Tower. With a few exceptions like ambulances, no motorized vehicle will be allowed to drive in the streets on this celebratory day. Pedestrians will now have a chance to explore and experience each of these cultural landmarks from an entirely new perspective.

a day without carsPhoto via Moyan Brenn/Flickr

As part of the city’s campaign against pollution, A Day Without Cars will coincide with European Mobility Week from September 16 to 22 as well as the major United Nations climate conference (COP21) taking place in Paris in late November. Across the globe, climate change and pollution are hot topics, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes that this one day car ban will inspire other cities to shed light on the impact traffic has on the environment.

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a day without carsPhoto via Moyan Brenn/Flickr

Other cities around the world, such as Montreal, Bogota, Mexico City, Ho Chi Minh City, and Brussels, have already established Day Without Car programs. Some of them have even permanently or partially closed down certain streets to encourage bike riding or walking. September 27 will be a day for the citizens of Paris to test alternative methods of transportation to cars, reflect on what it means to share public space with fellow locals and tourists, and ideally encourage them to become more involved in transforming their own city.

Read more Eco Monday features here.

Could you live in a city without any cars?

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