Paris is expanding pedestrian areas to combat pollution

Published by Laurie Manetta on

September 27th, 2016

Cars will be banned in Paris on a stretch of road along the River Seine used by 43,000 cars a day.

Paris City Council has just approved a plan to ban cars along a 3.3 km motorway stretch which is a UNESCO heritage site. The highway will be transformed into a pedestrian zone in an effort to reduce city pollution. This is similar to plans in Dublin to pedestrianize College Green.

This project is a part of Socialist mayor’s policy against air pollution which also includes a car ban from the Champs-Elysees avenue on the first Sunday of every month.

Paris air quality is a tricky issue as it regularly violates EU norms. High pollution levels have serious consequences on Parisian’s health. Experts found it causes 2,500 deaths every year in the city.

Like Paris, Dublin is known for being one of the worst cities for air pollution in Ireland and in the UK. The World Health Organisation have assessed that Dublin and Bray reached unsafe levels of air pollution in 2016. This research shows that more than 80% of city-dwellers are exposed to excessive levels of air pollution. It implies a higher risk of stroke, heart disease or other respiratory diseases. Fighting air pollution in Dublin would reduce health costs from air pollution associated diseases and improve Dubliner’s living conditions.

Zurich, in Switzerland and Copenhagen, in Denmark, have the strongest commitment to reducing pollution from vehicles such as promoting cleaner forms of transport. Both cities have already banned high polluting vehicles and have significantly reduced the number of car users.

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Laurie Manetta

Laurie is a contributor to the Green News. She is currently undertaking a Master's Degree in Environmental Policy at Sciences PO Grenoble in France.