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Paris Will Observe Annual Car-Free Day and Monthly Car-Free Days

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A car-free street blocked off in Paris.
Photo: Ulamm

Paris is poised to observe its third annual car-free day on Oct. 16. It will commemorate the event by temporarily banning cars from using streets within the city boundaries.

The main goal for the annual auto-less day is to advocate for clean air. “People [in Paris] are losing six months of life because of pollution,” said city deputy mayor Celia Blauel. A secondary goal is to demonstrate the practicality of living without cars.

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Gradual strides toward cleaner air

Ever since 1990, the city has shifted away from cars. In fact, car use inside of Paris has decreased by 45 percent since then. More recent strides to promote cleaner air include the city’s declaration in 2017, that it would prohibit diesel-fueled autos by 2024 and phase out gas-fueled models by 2030.

Besides going car-free for one day this year, on Oct. 16, Paris will also start implementing even more car-free days. Beginning Oct. 7, the city center will give up autos one Sunday each month.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo proudly announced the news via Twitter. She’s currently pushing for more eco-friendly transportation, such as initiating more secure bike lines in the city. She also serves as the chair of C40 Cities. This organization is a system of global cities who are collaborating to measure emissions and adopt practical methods to curb them.

Paris helps inspire other cities to adopt greener transportation

The city’s car-free days, as well as its clean air advocacy in general, seem to be inspiring a new wave of supporters. Just this week, 12 international cities signed the C40 Green and Healthy Streets Declaration, a written pledge that a large area of each city will use zero-emissions transportation by 2030.

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News Sources: Fast CompanyLe Parisien