World Car-Free Day 2023: Theme, Significance, History & How to Celebrate

Every year September 22 is observed as World Car Free Day all around the world with the aim to encourage people to give up their cars for a day. The main purpose behind observing this day is to highlight the numerous benefits of going car-free; reduced air pollution being the major one.

World Car-Free Day also promotes walking and cycling in a safer environment and gives a preview of how the world will look without cars, certainly a bit more cleaner and peaceful.

World Car Free Day 2023 Date

Below mentioned are the upcoming dates for World Car-Free Day for the next 5 years.

World Car Free Day 2023September 22, 2023Friday
World Car Free Day 2024September 22, 2024Sunday
World Car Free Day 2025September 22, 2025Monday
World Car Free Day 2026September 22, 2026Tuesday
World Car Free Day 2027September 22, 2027Wednesday

World Car-Free Day 2023 Overview

EventWorld Car Free Day 2023
DateSeptember 22, 2023
Declared byEuropean Commission
PurposeTo encourage people to give up their cars for a day.

List of all important days in 2023

World Car-Free Day Significance

World Car-Free Day 2023 provides countries around the globe an opportunity to see how their cities will look without cars and the different ways in which the congested roads can be utilized. It also offers an opportunity for people to realize how much pollution affects our lives given that vehicle emissions are the major source of air pollution in cities. Head of UN Environment’s Air Quality and Mobility Unit, Rob de Jong says, “Most cities have been designed around mobility for cars, and it is high time we change this and start designing cities around human mobility”.

World Car Free Day encourages individuals to avoid using their vehicles for a day. Although cars are convenient mode of transport, they create dangerous levels of pollution. The day is a great opportunity for raising awareness about these concerns.

History of World Car Free Day observation

The initial idea to discourage use of cars for the betterment of environment and individuals came after the petroleum crisis of 1973. In response to the excessive increase in the number of cars, worldwide car-free day started in the 90s.

The first car free days were finally organized in October 1994 and the countries of Reykjavik, Iceland, La Rochelle, France and Bath took part in the observation. The European Commission finally constituted the Car Free Day as a European Initiative in 2000 and it became a worldwide day in the same year.

World Car Free Day 2023 Celebration

World Car Free Day is all set to be celebrated on September 22 to encourage people to give up their cars for a day to see its effect on roads, environment and earth. To spread awareness about the pollution caused by cars and to emphasize on the need to find an alternative of a car-dominated society, many events are organized around the world. People take this opportunity to conduct racing and cycling events on the freed up roads.

People in some countries even organize horse-riding, picnics and many other fun events on roads in celebration of World Car Free Day. According to the UNEP, “the event highlights the numerous benefits of going car-free to citizens—including reduced air pollution and the promotion of walking and cycling in a safer environment.”

Share the Road Programme by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) invites governments and stakeholders in developing countries to invest in infrastructure for pedestrians and bicycles. Many cities also participate in the BreatheLife campaign managed by the UN Environment, World Health Organization and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition. The campaign supports cleaner air initiatives, encourages the use of clean energy and aids countries in developing policies to reduce air pollution.

See: Important Days in September


When do we celebrate World Car Free Day?

We celebrate this day on 22nd of September.

What is the theme for celebrating World Car-Free Day 2023?

There is no theme for celebrating World Car Free Day in any year.

Who started car-free day?

The first national campaign to support Car-Free Days was inaugurated in Britain by the Environmental Transport Association in 1997 but celebration of the World Car Free Day began in 2000.

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