Every year on or around 22 September, cities across the globe celebrate World Car-Free Day, encouraging motorists to give up their cars for a day. The event highlights the numerous benefits of going car-free to citizens—including reduced air pollution and the promotion of walking and cycling in a safer environment.
The World Carfree Network says that the World Car-Free Day can be a showcase for just how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without car... 365 days a year.
Meanwhile, every year from 16 to 22 September, European towns showcase their commitment to clean and sustainable urban transport during #MobilityWeek.
Car-free days are an opportunity for cities to highlight how congested roads can be used in different ways. From races for alternative-energy powered vehicles in Budapest, to horse-riding in São Paulo, to street picnics in Vienna, to running in Jakarta, cities and the people who live in them are stressing the alternatives to polluting vehicles on this important day.
UN Environment shines a light on those who are taking the lead in promoting sustainable lifesytles all year round. For instance, there is the story of Diego Osorio, founder of "Mejor en bici" (Better by bike) in Bogotá, Colombia whose goal is to convince the city’s inhabitants of the benefits of biking on health, exercise levels and air pollution.
"Latin American cities have given all the power to cars and we have ended up destroying ourselves; we have no space left for parks or for pedestrians. We have forgotten about human beings—it is time to reconquer the lost space," says Osorio.