People, Environment

Isfahan Partially Enforces “Car-Free Tuesdays”

Isfahan Partially Enforces “Car-Free Tuesdays”Isfahan Partially Enforces “Car-Free Tuesdays”

The city of Isfahan has become Iran’s first metropolis to enforce “Car-Free Tuesdays”, a people-driven campaign endorsed by the Department of Environment.

On Tuesday (August 2), Isfahan Municipality banned all vehicles from entering Charbagh Street, one of the city’s main thoroughfares, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. to promote the use of bicycles and encourage people to walk.

The campaign was started last year in Arak, Markazi Province, by environmentalists who had grown weary of being held hostage to the unremitting air pollution.

Shortly after its inception, the campaign was publicly endorsed by senior environment officials, including DOE chief, Massoumeh Ebtekar, and director of Public Participation Office, Mohammad Darvish.

“This is not a symbolic move. We need to encourage people to ditch vehicles in favor of cleaner alternatives,” said Isfahan Mayor Mehdi Jamali, adding that banning vehicles on Tuesday was not a one-off event, according to YJC.

Similar campaigns have been successfully tested in developed countries. Last September, the French capital Paris enforced a “car-free day” that was met with overwhelming support. The city also recorded a 40% drop in nitrogen oxide levels and a whopping 50% drop in noise pollution.

In October 2015, Oslo’s newly-elected city council said private cars will be banned from the center of the Norwegian capital by 2019, in what will be the first permanent restriction of its kind.

With 80,000 annual pollution-related deaths every year, Iran is one of the top five countries in terms of air pollution mortality, according to data from the World Health Organization.