Sunday, September 22, 2013

Car-Free Day

Today is Car-Free Day, when the citizens of numerous cities around the world take to public transport, bikes or simply walk into town. It started during the oil crisis of the early 70s but has picked up momentum with all things Green. Notable examples have been Jakarta (a major coup, if you know the city), Bogota, Montreal, Toronto, Munich, Reykjavik etc. That said, it's still a patchy affair and my guess is that very few people have ever heard of it. 
Apparently 150 cities in China observed it this year, limited to certain neighbourhoods. In Beijing it took place around the Olympic Stadium (largely empty) and Wangfujing Street (mostly pedestrian); everywhere else was pretty clogged, not helped by the irony that today - a Sunday - is a workday for most, thanks to the knock-on effect of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Tokenism? Perhaps. But at least it's getting media coverage and awareness is growing.
Me? I hopped on my bike to do the shopping, today being no different from any other really.  

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