Why did the cars in cities like Oslo, Ghent, and Paris stop driving? They were tired! All jokes aside, more and more cities are giving cars the thumbs down, and it may just be something that we give the green light!
According to this report, there are many positive aspects associated with giving cars the axe. Apart from the obvious factors that come to mind, such as reducing air pollution and combating climate change, banning cars in cities also has a huge positive impact on citizens’ well being and overall quality of life. Research suggests that a car ban may cultivate a culture of happiness, thanks to the health advantages associated with walking or cycling.
We’ve all been stuck in traffic, so just imagine getting rid of that unwanted stress thanks to no more congestion! A ban on cars can also increase physical health, enhance mindfulness and create a sense of community.A ban on cars in cities also contributes to a growing demand for products that have a better impact on the environment, such as bicycles. It even helps local businesses attract more people through their doors, while also creating safer streets for pedestrians.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the cities across the world who have taken the car ban theory and put it into action:
1. Oslo, Norway, says “no” to traffic
If you’re looking for a parking spot in Oslo “The Tiger City” in Norway, you’re out of luck. Thanks to the cities’ push to be carbon neutral by 2023, pedestrians and public transport have the upper hand in this city. According to Tim Wenger in this 2019 article, the city has already eliminated 700 parking spots. Parking spots that do remain are for people with disabilities or businesses that require a vehicle.
2. Ghent, Belgium, waves cars in city-central goodbye
Ladies and Ghent(lemen), if you’re looking for a city centre with no cars in sight, pay a visit to the mesmerising Ghent. In a trailblazing move, Ghent started its car-free efforts within a 35-hectare way back in 1996. Now in its 26th year, the ban has created a city core that is walk and bike-friendly, and where traffic jams have long since been a thing of the past.
3. Paris,France, to push cars away by 2024
Perhaps taking a queue from its car-free predecessors Oslo and Ghent, Paris is also pushing to create a car-free city centre. According to Jon Porter for The Verge, The City of Light’s officials plan to ban private vehicles in the heart of the city by 2024, in an effort to decrease congestion and improve air quality.
This is also an effort by the city to improve its conditions ahead of hosting the 2024 Olympic Games. Porter further states that Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is focused on making the city less “car-centric”, in favour of bicycles. Add a bicycle basket and I think we have a winner!