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13 cities lead initiative to ban use of cars

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To accelerate climate action, urban planners and policy makers around the world have started to think out possible ways that cities could create more space for pedestrians and lower carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions from cars.

Climate change, also called global warming, refers to the rise in average surface temperatures on earth. Scientific consensus maintains that climate change is due primarily to use of fossil fuels, which releases CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the air. The gases trap heat within the atmosphere, which can have a range of effects on the environment, including rising sea levels, severe weather events, and droughts and others.

Following the development, some cities have set target year to effect ban on the use of car to mitigate effect of gaseous emissions from cars. The cities include; Oslo the Norwegian capital, Madrid in Spain, Chengdu in China, Hamburge in Germany, Copenhagen, Paris in France, Brussels in Belgium, Bogotá in Colombia, London, Mexico and New York City, San Francisco and Berlin.

For instance, in the Norwegian capital, authorities has pledged to invest heavily in public transportation as it sets to replace 35 miles of roads previously dominated by cars with bike lanes.

According to the executive director of Transportation Alternatives, an organization that supports bikers in New York City and advocates for car-free cities, Paul White, “The fact that Oslo is moving forward so rapidly is encouraging, and I think it will be inspiring if they are successful”.

For Madrid’s authorities planned ban is believed to be more extensive as cars from 500 acres of its city center by 2020 will be off the road even as urban planners are redesigning 24 of the city’s busiest streets for walking rather than driving.

Accordingly the effort is part of the city’s “sustainable mobility plan,” which aims to reduce daily car usage downward to 23per cent. Authorities says drivers who ignore the new regulations will pay a fine of at least $100People in Chengdu, China will be able to walk anywhere in 15 minutes or less.

In the case of Chengdu, China government won’t completely ban cars, only half the roads in the 80,000-person city will allow vehicles by 2020, but zoning issues are delaying the deadline while the German city plans to make walking and biking its dominant mode of transport. Within the next two decades, Hamburg will reduce the number of cars by only allowing pedestrians and bikers to enter certain areas.

Bikes continue to rule the road in Copenhagen. Over half of the population bikes to work every day, thanks to the city’s effort to introduce pedestrian-only zones starting in the 1960s. The Danish capital now boasts more than 200 miles of bike lanes and has one of the lowest percentages of car ownership in Europe. The city has also pledged to become completely carbon-neutral by 2025.

In Paris, authorities will ban diesel cars and double the number of bike lanes. The mayor says Paris also plans to double its bike lanes and limit select streets to electric cars by 2020. The city also continues to make smaller, short-term efforts to curb emissions.


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