About the event
World Car Free Day originates from a keynote speech by Eric Britton at an Accessible Cities conference in 1994. Soon, many cities were launching the first ‘Car Free Days’ and the day became published internationally by the World Carfree Network (WCN) in 2000. The WCN states that the day is about ‘people from around the world getting together in the streets, intersections, and neighbourhood blocks to remind the world that we don't have to accept our car-dominated society’.
This is a day to show others what a walkable, car-free world could look like. With more community space, safer streets, less air pollution and less carbon emissions there are so many benefits worth highlighting.
How to approach it
The day is about people experiencing for themselves what a car-free world would be like. Students and parents should therefore be encouraged to get to school (if they can) by some other means such as walking, cycling or public transportation. You could also research if any areas near you are having car-free days that would allow you to take students somewhere they can see the benefits of a car-free street.
Beyond this, today is about showing the impact reducing car use can have on communities. You could show your students some examples of places that have decided to do this such as Amsterdam or the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. Ask students: What do you notice about these places? There are often many more people walking, space for restaurants, and space for socialising. Show that whilst reducing the negatives of cars such as pollution, crashes and traffic you also make places safer, more communal and more appealing.
Imagine a world without cars. What would the benefits be for humans, for animals, and for the rest of the natural world? What challenges would we need to solve to make it a reality?