Let’s reclaim our cities, urges Paris-based go-car-free expo
Saturday, October 1st 2016 at 11:03AM BST
“For over 50 years urban planning has been organized around car traffic,” states a blurb on the website for a new go-car-free expo. “Today, we have other ways of getting around, freeing up spaces that were previously dedicated to cars.” The Autonomy website concludes: “Let’s reclaim our city.”
By city, Autonomy means all cities not just Paris where the expo will take place.
The four-day Autonomy will take place in the Grande Halle of the Parc de la Villette, and kicks off on Thursday.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is spending €150m to turn Paris into the “world’s urban cycling capital by 2020” by which date the city aims to have completely banned diesel vehicles. Paris has been in the news recently for the decision to close a major highway to motor vehicles. A two-mile stretch of the car-dominated highway on the right bank of the Seine will be handed back to people.
“Drivers from the suburbs are angry that they have lost a short cut through the city while most Parisians are happy about the reduced pollution and a beautiful new recreation space along the river. It is a classic conflict between the suburban car user and the carless urbanite that I think we will continue to see in cities across the world.”
Of course, the news couldn’t have come at a better time for an expo extoling the benefits of a car-free city.