“World Car Free Day” asks us to take a new look at life in the city


On September 22, cities around the world are joining together for “World Car Free Day,” an initiative aimed at getting people to think about pollutant gas emissions in the atmosphere caused by automobiles. The day is aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues such as the greenhouse effect, while also mobilizing people to use more collective transport day-to-day, alternative means like bikes and car pooling in order to contribute to better air quality.

“World Car Free Day” originally began in France, in 1997, and spread across the world with various actions in cities which lower the speed limit on some roads or even prohibit vehicle traffic in some areas on this date so that people use other means of transport. What most matters is that the population thinks about excessive automobile use and how other possibilities for moving around in cities are ruled out.

Actions on September 22 are part of a movement called “Mobility Week,” adopted by various countries to propose alternatives to improve urban transport while also looking at issues such as improving quality of life and calling attention to more sustainable and efficient ways of getting around.

“Mobility Week” initiatives, along with the “World Car Free Day,” include walks, bike rides and intermodal challenges, aimed at showing that the city can be experienced in other ways and that even though cars are important for transportation, they are not essential for live in a major urban city.

See some of the initiatives for more sustainable mobility organized in some Brazilian cities below.

– Manaus

During Mobility Week, the “Pedala Manaus” NGO organizes a series of activities to encourage the city’s residents to ride their bikes, such as bike rides and an intermodal challenge, where participants have to complete a certain route using different modes of transportation, seeing at the end which is most efficient.

– Maceió

On September 23 (Friday), there is a “For Safer Traffic” race, and on Sunday (September 25), there is a bike ride, with an expected 7,000 participants.

– São Paulo

In addition to the Intermodal Challenge that took place on September 17, there are also nighttime walks and debates on urban mobility during the “Mobility Festival.”

– Porto Alegre

On “World Car Free Day,” the capital of Rio Grande do Sul is promoting its second Urban Mobility Seminar – Porto Alegre for People.


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