Johannesburg to become car-free African city

The City of Johannesburg in South Africa will be hosting a month-long car-free city event in 2015 to coincide with the country’s Transport Month in October 2015: the world’s second-ever ‘EcoMobility World Festival 2015’.

sustainable transport

The Festival aims to mobilize and raise local and international support for sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally-friendly transport options and to showcase solutions and alternatives to fossil-fuel based transport. The Festival will also showcase the new Rea Vaya bus rapid transport scheme and public transport, cycling and walking friendly infrastructure that the city is constructing in the Sandton CBD.

“The EcoMobility World Festival is a once-in-a-life time opportunity for the local community to try out a scenario of future sustainable living”, says initiator and Creative Director of the EcoMobility Festivals, Konrad Otto-Zimmermann. Zimmerman works at The Urban Idea and is a former Secretary General of ICLEI. “It means experiencing and showcasing an ecomobile lifestyle in a real city, by real people, in real time.”

Johannesburg’s commitment to ecomobility is also in line with the recently adopted pan-African Sustainable Transportation Forum framework, which is a platform for decision makers to share best practices, coordinate sustainable transport efforts and provide focus to development planning.

“The city is committed to involving all relevant stakeholders to ensure participative decision-making in the event, and to communicate, celebrate and visualize a low carbon future through the lens of EcoMobility”, concluded the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau.

The Mayor also announced the City’s plans to close off certain streets in Sandton to car traffic, and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of EcoMobility during the entire Transport Month in October next year (2015).

One Response to “Johannesburg to become car-free African city”

  1. Philip November 4, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Nice idea and I love the picture of the girl on the bike with the briefcase and the laptop. I saw that many times in places like Amsterdam. The unfortunate reality is that a) you cant buy commuter/shopper bikes like that in South Africa although they are still made today in Holland and b) if I had one, how do I get my bike to Sandton ? The Gautrain wont carry bicycles unless in a “travel bag” Not very accomodating I’m afraid.Good luck with the initiative though. For the record I AM a supporter of public transport.

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