October 24, 2020

Why is World Car Free Day celebrated?


Cycling concentration in Madrid.
EFE

There are many cities in Spain that have not hesitated to join the World Car Free Day and they have taken to the road by bicycle or motorcycle. Madrid, for example, has hosted a mobilization in which hundreds of cyclists have joined in favor of decarbonization and to end the CO2 emissions produced by the massive use of cars. But what is the origin of this day and why is it celebrated?

During the 1973 oil crisis The first ideas are beginning to appear to discourage the use of the car and promote more efficient means of transport. It is not until October 1994 when the first days are organized without cars. Initially, the cities of Reykjavik (Iceland), La Rochelle (France) and Bath (UK) took the initiative to implement Car Free Day. As a nationwide campaign, Britain was the first country to apply it in 1997.

Finally, in 2000 it was established as a European initiative for European Comission.

The objective of the day, which is always celebrated on September 22, is to discourage the use of the car, as it is causing damage to the environment. The reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere is one of the priorities of the cities that join the initiative. And, the poor air quality translates to around 400,000 premature deaths a year in Europe, of which 7,000 occur in Spain, according to the figures sent by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in a report.

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