After COP26, Glasgow leads by example with a new car-free zone in the city center

·1-min read
Cars will soon be banned from entering certain streets in Glasgow (Scotland).

After hosting the COP26 climate conference, the city of Glasgow is ready to create a new car-free zone. As part of the plan, cars will be banned from a portion of the city's historic district.

After hosting COP26, Glasgow is leading by example and reorganizing its city center to make it healthier and less polluted. This includes the implementation of a car-free zone, covering the heart of the historic center, from George Square to Hope Street, passing by Argyle Street and Cathedral Street. In this area, traffic is particularly dense and pollution is very high. This area will be progressively closed to cars over the next five years, with exceptions for disabled access. The area will also remain open to public transport and to many professionals.

With this plan, Glasgow is joining other major European cities, where clean air initiatives are springing up across the continent. Barcelona in Spain, Bristol in England and Leuven in Belgium have already adopted these kinds of schemes. By 2022, Paris will follow suit with reduced traffic in the city's inner core. In Berlin, a collective is campaigning for the German capital's entire center to be closed to cars and become a space reserved only for pedestrians, public transport, bicycles, scooters and the like. A petition collecting more than 50,000 signatures calls for a referendum, for scheduled implementation by 2027.

This decision taken by the Glasgow City Council is part of a long-term strategy. Indeed, the city's objective is to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and to become a circular city by 2045.

David Bénard

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