These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day

Two months before it hosts the global summit on climate change, Paris is stepping up as a model for green urban living. Sunday marked Paris' first car-free day. Bumper-to-bumper traffic was replaced with blocks chock-full of walkers, joggers, skateboarders and even yogis.

Earlier this year, a rise in pollution from traffic blanketed the entire region in smog so severe that the French capital was briefly named the world's most polluted city. In an effort to reduce harmful carbon emissions, mayor Anne Hidalgo called for a "Paris sans voiture," or without cars.

It seems to have been a hit with locals.

“I live high in a tower block in the east of the city and looking out of my window today I saw the difference straight away," Parisian Elisabeth Pagnac told The Guardian. "The sky has never been this blue."

To which we say: Bravo!


These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

Nothing but peaceful waterfront views in this shot by @captaincxld.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

Sunbathing in the street? Why not. @marion_in_paris captures a couple soaking up the rays at Champs Élysées boulevard.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

No cars, no worries for @paris_ci

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These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

@paris_cherie shows us that the ban on motor vehicles inspired some to get creative.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

Hundreds of Parisians are taking full advantage of the empty streets in this shot by @paris_maville.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

The paparazzi flocked to a group of girls getting their namaste on in this 'gram by m_mlle.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

Midday bike riders are looking trés chic in this shot by @crissilveira

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

@julienbuffard gives us the ultimate #ParisPanorama.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

@apollinetb proves that people of all ages saw yesterday as a chance to live a little greener.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

@globalworming makes us want to book a one-way ticket to France asap.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

Baguette picnic in the middle of the Champs Élysées? Yes please, @hnelly95.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

This shot by @o2bzt proves that #streetyoga is officially a (super cool) thing.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

@luiz_samorim captured the day's tranquil vibes with his awesome aerial of Arc de Triomphe.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

@frenchtouch2 proves that extreme backbends don't require any mats.

These Photos Show What Paris Looked Like When It Banned Cars For A Day Hero Image

As the sun sets over Paris, @fredpel68 has us hoping that a carless extravaganza is in the works for New York City.


Preview image courtesy of Instagram/@crissilveira


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