All hail pedestrians and cyclists! Paris is closing its streets off to cars for a day to make a statement about its terrible air pollution.
The no-car holiday, La Journee sans Voiture, will take place on Sunday, September 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Paris is expected to close large parts of itself off to all cars for a day including the city’s center, major landmarks that include the Eiffel Tower, and several parks, according to Gizmodo.
The announcement comes after a series of progressive policies initiated by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a champion of environmental reform. She has enacted policies to activate vacant urban sites, incentivize citizens to walk or bike to work, and promote sustainable architecture.
Paris has been stuck on the problem of how to raise awareness of their air pollution. Last year the city attempted to ban half of its cars from streets by allowing odd and even-numbered licenses plates to drive on alternate days of the week. The idea was abandoned after a day.
The city’s traffic pollution can be attributed to older diesel cars that are making air quality in Paris far worse than Beijing’s on some hot summer days. Paris was cited as having the most air pollution in any city in the world back in March by a Plume Labs report.
The new initiative will hopefully set an example for other European cities — such as Madrid, Dublin and Hamburg — that are looking for ways to restrict cars from their centers. It will also stimulate conversation around the issue of international climate for the United Nations climate change conference that will be taking place in Paris this upcoming December.