Continuing the debate of sustainable cities lead to the idea of car free regions and the idea of car free day, if you thought there can’t be one, you are in for a shocker. Internationally Sept 22 happens to be world car free day.
For convenience certain areas i cities are classified car free for certain periods of time. One city in India , Gurgaon has managed to continue Car free sundays for nearly a year now.
Gurgaon is known as India’s “Millennium City” due to its tremendous recent urbanization. Within the last decade, the city has transformed from farming town to major technology hub. Its rapid growth has spurred a tremendous increase in vehicular traffic, and a lack of public transport, walking, and cycling paths have made pedestrian life very difficult in the city. In addition to a serious infrastructure shortage to adequately serve the current population, Gurgaon faces other challenges common in many Indian cities, including deteriorating roads and pollution. Raahgiri Day is an effort to create a new future for the city, and to build a city with bicycle paths and pedestrian avenues interwoven throughout its urban landscape. Read more here.
Going one step further I just tried finding car free places in the world and was surprised to find an entire page on Wikipedia for it.
And what i found really interesting was this place called Fazilka, right here in India.
Fazilka is a small, 162 year old town on the India-Pakistan border. Its unkempt, garbage-strewn congested streets with small, bustling shops are nothing out of the ordinary. But this town of about 68,000 people – and about 45,000 vehicles on its narrow lanes – has removed one source of congestion: cars.
On November 21, 2008, the city made history, when it became the first in the region to implement the “Carfree City” concept. The main market area around the Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower) was declared a “Car Free Zone” – the entry of cars was banned between 10am, when most shops open, and 7pm, when the shopkeepers head home – despite initial opposition, especially from shopkeepers who feared losing clientele. Only two wheelers (bikes and motorbikes) are allowed, but the town plans to remove them gradually.
Fazilka continues to build on its carfree success, by placing special emphasis on traffic calming devices and installing permanent barriers in a few locations, in addition to the introduction of other alternative ways of getting from A to B (such as “Ecocabs” or dial-a-rickshaw service), all helping to make the city centre more sustainable, pedestrian and cycle friendly. read more here.