World Car-Free Day, as the name suggests, is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of going car-free. The day is celebrated every year on 22 September around the globe to encourage motorists to give up their cars for a day.
According to the official website of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), "the event highlights the numerous benefits of going car-free to citizens—including reduced air pollution and the promotion of walking and cycling in a safer environment."
World Car-Free Day: History
Multiple informal car-free days are being organized in countries like Iceland, UK, etc., since 1990s. However, the campaign went global with the World Car-Free Day launched by Carbusters (now World Carfree Network) in 2000.
World Car-Free Day: Significance
According to World Carfree Network, "World Car-free Day is the perfect time to take the heat off the planet, and put it on city planners and politicians to give priority to cycling, walking and public transport, instead of to the automobile."
Many events are organized around the world to spread awareness about the pollution caused by cars and to emphasize on the need to find an alternative of a car-dominated society.
"The results of going car-free are clear to see. For instance, the first 'journée sans voiture' (day without a car) in Paris, France was held in September 2015 and was found to reduce exhaust emissions by 40 per cent," reads the official website of UNEP.