For all the beauty of Paris, the French capital has a very ugly side: crippling air pollution.
Aging diesel cars and increasingly hot, dry days have made smog such a problem in the city that it actually briefly topped world charts for air pollution earlier this year.
That’s why Paris will ban all cars for an entire day on September 27th in an effort to free the city of traffic congestion, noise pollution and vehicle emissions. The 1st through 7th, 10th and 11th arrondissements will participate in Day Without Cars, which will also be enacted at the Champs Élysées, the Bastille, and the Eiffel Tower.
The move looks to showcase the possibilities of car-free cities as well as make a statement about the environment. Many cities around the world – including Montreal, Bogota, Abu Dhabi and Madrid – are exploring how to move towards a car-free future. Most ambitiously, Hamburg is developing a 20-year plan to eliminate cars altogether.
Trying to pull something like this off in a city like Los Angeles, or even Toronto, however, will most certainly incite riots.