What is Car feer day?
Cars are the major problem causing global warming. That is why European countries have any one day in September assigned to campaign car free day in city. This movement is spreading in Korea also. We plan to announce that “Let’s reduce car use in order to prevent global warming,’ message.
In 1997, the car-free day has been started from La Roche (the harbor city of west France) and spread to the whole country in 1998 and many big cities around the world. The catch praise, "In town, without my car", and so many citizens are the same phenomenon in any city around the world.
"The citizens by themselves shall be away from the car dependent living” and “Let’s make an environmentally friendly city that is familiar with pedestrians, public transportation users, bikes and inline skating” phrases are the action agenda for the Europe city (Local government organizations) and citizens. In 2000, these phrases were spread out into Asia and American continents including 30 countries and 813 cities. In 2002, UN has asked the local government heads around the world for active participation.
Now, this “car free day” campaign becomes a worldwide campaign. Through participation of positive and volunteering citizens, that campaign will change the car dependant city, society and life style, and reduce the negative aspects of cars and play a major role in making a new city culture.
Because of excessive use of cars, the modern cities face environment destruction, traffic problem, and waste on energy. These problems are already serious disaster to human kinds. Cars are no longer a symbol of modern convenience. Rather they devastate our lives and living places by serious traffic problems, frequent car accidents, air pollution by excessive energy use, and environment destruction by road construction. In France, 6% of the total death is reported to be air pollution related diseases, and this is 1.5% of the gross national production.
This problem cannot exclude Seoul, Korea. Seoul is one of the most polluted cities in the world. More than 85% air pollutants are emitted from cars, and also the serious traffic jam wastes billion won of energy every year. This fact greatly influences our economy since we too much depend on imported energy, which is 97% of the total energy.
Car Free Day! Action
Seoul and its citizens will keep doing this campaign and ultimately get away from the car dependent life. By doing so, we can solve traffic, energy, and environment problems and create a new city culture that humans and life are highly respected.
In 2002, the “car free day" was held in September 28th starting from “car free day in Europe” and separately with one thousand cities around the world. However, Seoul had this campaign in November 17th(Thursday) with people from environment, energy, and consumer’s organizations. In 2003, we plan to have the same ‘car free day’ campaign in September to announce that we have to use public transportations.
Car Free Day in Seoul 2001
Koreans are very worried about pollution and urban mobility caused by the increasing number of cars. Inside the city, many people complain of a poor quality of life: air pollution, noise pollution, overcrowding, etc. Not only roads, but any empty places in the city are dominated by cars, and used as parking lots. This is why this campaign is not just a question of fighting atmospheric pollution or noise, but also of improving the quality of urban life.
Encouraging the use of alternative forms of transportation was an important theme for the campaign. Bicycles, roller skates, and carpooling are some of these alternatives and were seen on the street during the campaign.
'Car Free Day' could be a day for 'changing the government's inefficient transportation policy.' People blamed the government for its private car-centered transportation
Further information on 'International Car Free Day Seoul organizing committee' can be found at http://www.carfreeday.or.kr/