- A number of major cities have joined the “car-free” movement, which aims to reduce air pollution and improve safety among residents.
- Most cities that are starting to ban cars are located in Europe, though a few others, such as New York, are making considerable strides.
- In addition to implementing outright bans, cities have enacted measures to encourage cycling and make public spaces more pedestrian-friendly.
As small cities successfully implement plans to ditch their vehicles, many large urban areas are determined to follow in their footsteps.
The idea of a car-free city is not without its challenges. Though bikes and public transit are widely available in most cities, cars remain a preferred method of transportation for many urban commuters.
Studies have shown that it’s notoriously difficult to change a driver’s commuting habits, even when free public transit is involved.
The alternative is high levels of car pollution, which contributes to around 20% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. An Oxford study found that around 10,000 people die prematurely in Europe each year due to pollution from diesel cars alone.
Here are some of the major cities that are determined to improve health and safety by banning cars.