Car Free Day is an international event celebrated every September 22 in which people are encouraged to get around without cars, this process aims to promote the use of mass transit (train, bus), bicycling or walking. This project provide motorists and commuters with an idea of what their town would look like with less cars on the street; the event varies in different localities. In the past, projects like this were proposed as solution to temporary problems on a time to time basis, starting with the 1973 oil crisis. On October 1994 in a speech by Eric Britton at the International Ciudades Accessibles (Accessible Cities) Conference held in Toledo Spain where he defined a more structured concept to this project. Today, Car Free Day is organized in various cities around the world; it is celebrated in 1,650 cities in 52 countries.
II. Why Car Free Day?
Car Free Day is an incentive to reduce the amount of cars on the street to cut down the level of CO2 realised. Of course this initiative does not aim to completely remove cars from streets; it is aimed at drawing awareness to the effect of global warming and to show how individual effort can contribute in reducing carbon dioxide on the ozone layer.
III. Consequences of CO2:
The sings of global warming is rife in our world today: flood, droughts, heat, heavy rainfall, heavy snow fall, arctic sea ice melting, and the extinct of some species in the ocean as a result of shifting temperature regimes. Humans are also at risk due to the threat to food from floods and droughts which subsequently decreases crop yields and destroys houses because of floods and deteriorating health due to pollution (smog).
IV. Why are people reluctant to participate in Car Free Day?
- lack of collaboration from government
- lack of adequate public transportation system
- Reluctant participation from individuals
- The difficulty involve in changing habits
- Lack of global awareness
- The issue of social status associated with driving a car
V. How to make this project sustainable:
. To make this sustainable, it will require:
- A government policy outlining guidelines showing their collaboration
- Cities around the world should have a Car Free Day ones every month (free public transportation)
- the use of social media to target younger generation
- Associate Car Free Day with a funfair or a community activity where people come together to have fun
- Get more celebrities involve
VI. Benefit to society:
- To reducing the number of cars on the street
- Less traffic congestion
- A greener environment and reduced gasoline demand
- Ecological benefit to the fight against climate change
- Allows children and other pedestrians play and walking on empty streets
Looking at the challenges that come with this project, indeed one cannot underestimate the impact of carbon dioxide on the planet which is why this initiative to reduce the number of cars on the street for a day is highly necessary. Although we can argue that a day of car free street is not enough to tackle climate change, regardless, it is a baby step contribution towards this cause. Policy makers are planning and encouraging mass transportation, car free housing complexes and car free extensions. Paris recently declared Saturday the 21st to Monday the 23rd of March free transportation day. This initiative is aimed at reducing the level of CO2 in the city.
Author: Wikipedia, Car Free Days
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Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the IMBA Seminar on Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris, March 2015.
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