London considering 'car-free' days to slash pollution

easy crowd in London
© Easy as riding a bike/ Fifteen people on the right; six in the motor vehicles in the same length (and more width!) on the left

London has already made some good progress in cutting air pollution in the city, and by 2020 one of its most famous thoroughfares will be entirely pedestrian only. (Whether bikes will be allowed is not quite so clear.)

Now Mayor Sadiq Kahn is looking to capitalize (see what I did there?) on this progress, with sources telling the Guardian that City Hall is aiming to launch car-free days across London—starting with separate car-free days in each borough this year, and followed by city-wide car-free days as early as next year.

Of course, individual car-free days are hardly going to fix the problem alone. But they do encourage people to 'think outside the car', and taken in conjunction with efforts like electrifying the bus fleet and investments in bike superhighways, they serve as one more data point suggesting that the future for world-class cities is to move beyond car dependency and toward people-friendly planning.

Even as electric car sales grow around the world, there's reason to hope that there's a broader, more systemic shift underway.

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