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“No Car Day” in Southwestern Chinese City

Categories: East Asia, China, Citizen Media, Environment

Last year, Kunming, China took part in “No Car Day” (无车日). Now, the southwestern Chinese city has gone above and beyond [1] by instituting a “No Car Day” every month.

Kunming, home to many environmental NGOs, has Car Free Days [2] on the last Saturday of every month. China's Green Beat gives us the skinny:

The policy has its limitations, of course. Rather than fully banning cars throughout the entire city, only private cars are forbidden to enter the first ring road. Taxis, buses, bikes, scooters, and special purpose vehicles (or vehicles with greater than 17 seats that are more than 50% full) are allowed to travel anywhere in the city.

They go on to say:

The policy seems to have mixed results. On September 22, the Kunming Environmental Bureau reported much better air quality due to the limitation of private cars…On the same day, the BBC reported Beijing drivers as having all but ignored the call for No Car Day, where the event was voluntary and not enforced as in Kunming.

China's Green Beat “Green Sisters” Ouyang and Jenny give a report about the day.

Video: No Car Day in Kunming [3]

China plans to hold a car-free day in 108 cities this Sept. 22, as part of the world's No Car Day [4]. China's No Car Day should cut 3,000 tons of emissions [5] and save 33 million liters of gasoline.

In addition to the ‘No Car Day’ initiative, Beijing is planning major traffic restrictions [6] around this year's Olympics in Eastern China.