World Carfree Day
annually on September 22nd (since 2000)
World Carfree Day is a global event where people give up driving their cars for a day to demonstrate and experience what it would be like to live in a world without cars, and to raise awareness for global issues such as pollution and climate change. It is a day to promote mass transit, cycling and walking, and communities where jobs and shopping areas are closer to home. Although the event takes place one day a year, its goal is to get people thinking about how they can live their lives every day. Events began being organized in the mid-1990's, and began spreading around the globe. A campaign in Britain took place in 1997, and in France in 1998. In 1999 events were held in 66 French towns and 92 Italian towns. An event took place in Bogotá—a city of 8 million people—in 2000, and throughout Europe 760 cities and towns with 70 million people in 26 countries also participated that year. Advocates of the day claim 1,500 cities and 100 million people now participate annually.
How to Observe World Carfree Day
Celebrate the day by participating in a World Carfree Day event in your city. Events around the world have included things such as "arts and crafts markets, free bus services, children's play areas, cycle training and other cycle events, free zero emission delivery service, evening parties, restaurants and cafes extending out onto the pavements for the day, music, streets markets, street theatre" and other activities. If there is not an event in your city, you can go car free today, in solidarity with participants around the globe. You can reflect on your own car use and how you can increase your use of public transportation, carpooling, walking, and cycling. There are additional resources about the day on the World Carfree Network website.