Paris goes car-free for a day in preparation for UN climate meeting

French capital city Paris had a completely car-free day last Sunday, as the Mayor ordered cars away from the city centre in preparation for an upcoming UN climate change meeting to be held there.

The normally roaring Champs-Elysees avenue was entirely pedestrianised for the day and saw people walking in the streets, replacing the usual world-famous traffic jams.

Paris will host the UN climate negotiations meetings in December, which are aiming to close a deal on curbing greenhouse gases from 2020 onwards – and this was intended to lead by example.

All traffic except taxis and emergency vehicles was banned in four central arrondissements, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said; “We didn’t get as wide a perimeter as we’d have liked, we asked for the whole of Paris. But it’s a first and I think next year it will be even bigger”.

Elsewhere in the capital, cars were requested to stick to a pedestrian speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour (about 12mph), but this was not widely enforced.

What do you think of a car-free weekend? Would you get involved?

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Author Lex Barber


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