In a big win for sustainable transportation, the streets of Paris will go completely car-free for one entire day this weekend. On September 27th, A Day Without Cars will make the French capital a pedestrian and bicycle paradise. Tourists and locals alike will be able to enjoy Paris without traffic congestion, the honking of horns or car exhaust.
The decision to shut down traffic for an entire day was Paris officials’ way of taking a stand against the severity and effects that pollution has on the city. Coinciding with European Mobility Week and the United Nations climate conference COP21, the celebratory day will reach across the most popular areas of the city. Cultural hubs like the Left Bank, Champs Élysées, Bastille, and the Eiffel Tower will be experienced in a new way, allowing pedestrians to take in the landmarks without urban chaos.
Locals, familiar to these scenes, will have a chance to rediscover their home of Paris with an incomparable tranquility. Visitors will be able to smell the freshness of the city free of car exhaust, hear the rustle of foliage in the wind or chirping of birds without the interruption of grid lock, and marvel at Paris’ famous architecture, without the worry of stumbling into oncoming cars.
Combating climate change and pollution is a hot topic in communities across the globe. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes that the one day car ban will inspire other cities around the globe, while also bringing attention to the affect of traffic on the environment.