On the eve of 2018 Car Free Day in Paris and Brussels, the mayors of the two capital cities proposed that a Europe-wide car-free day be held every year to contribute to tackling climate change and air pollution.
“Faced with the climate emergency and the health impact of pollution”, Anne Hidalgo and Philippe Close called for “a thousand car-free days to flourish across Europe”, according to the Le Monde.
The pedestrian was king last Sunday, 16 September, in the capitals of France and Belgium, enjoying unusual peace and quiet on the iconic streets and landmarks of central Paris.
From 11am to 6pm, Paris was reserved for them, as well as cyclists, rollerbladers and kick-scooters.
According to an initial assessment of Airparif, this fourth car-free day in Paris saw a decrease in nitrogen dioxide concentrations in the city centre by 28 to 35 per cent against those on a comparable Sunday without traffic restrictions and similar weather. It promises to post updated assessments at a later date.
Paris’ third car-free day in 2017 saw a 25 per cent drop in nitrogen dioxide levels at 1pm and, according to the Bruitparif observatory, a 20 per cent fall in noise compared to a normal Sunday.
See photos from la journée sans voiture in Paris, in the Huffington Post.