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Reduce fuel consumption and build better connections with regular Car-Free Days

21 October 2022

It’s been almost a month since EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s main event came to a close on World Car-Free Day. 2,988 towns and cities from 51 countries registered sustainable mobility awareness-raising events and activities from 16 - 22 September. Many participated by organising their very own car-free day or weekend. But cities and towns don’t have to wait for World Car-Free Day, or EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s main event, to coordinate a car-free day.

In light of Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine and the need to drastically reduce Europe’s dependency on (Russian) fossil fuels as quickly as possible – as detailed in the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan - there has never been a better time to organise a monthly or weekly car-free day. The Clean Cities Campaign estimates that one weekly car-free day in all major European cities could reduce Europe’s annual oil consumption from urban transport by 3 – 5%. This is equivalent to having the European workforce work from home three days a week or 0.63% - 1.10% of the EU’s total annual oil consumption, which is the same as annual oil demand from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In addition to a reduction in fuel consumption, organising more regular car-free days would improve local traffic congestion while lowering related air and noise pollution levels. Car-free days are also a wonderful opportunity for residents of all ages to form better connections with their peers, public transport and the city or town in which they live: just ask the 1,191 towns and cities that recorded a car-free day during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s main event week in 2022.

And for those local authorities who have not yet been able to coordinate a car-free day or who are wondering where to start, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has got you covered! Our ‘How to organise a Car-Free Day in 10 steps’ infographic will help you prepare your town or city for its very first car-free day.

No matter how many towns and cities are able to organise, any car-free day is a great way to further promote sustainable urban mobility and its many benefits, while significantly reducing fuel consumption.