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Paris bans cars for the day, asks Europe to join in

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There are no cars on the roads of Brussels and Paris on Sunday. On the eve of the event, the mayors of the two cities called for all of Europe to follow suit and hold an annual vehicle-free day. The call came in a joint statement by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and her counterpart in Brussels, Philippe Close, in which the two pointed to “the urgency of climate issues and the health impact of pollution”. Both capitals are holding their annual car-free day on Sunday as part of the European Heritage Days 2018, a weekend of cultural events staged every year in countries throughout the bloc. Brussels has transformed Waterloo boulevard into a picnic ground and the Poelaert Square into a dancefloor. The city has also set up bike and skateboarding courses for children and a “Surfing in Town” pool where the adventurous can ride an “endless wave”. The planned events are rounded out with extreme sports demonstrations: tightrope walking, BMX, trail bike, rollerblading, skating and slackline. It’s not just the activities that have drawn people out. “The biggest pleasure of the #DayWithoutCars isn’t biking around the city (I do that almost every day), it’s the serenity that emerges from this quasi SILENCE, broken by the songs of birds and children’s cries,”.

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