Johannesburg to attempt car-free lifestyle

Friday, October 24, 2014

The potential for ecomobile alternatives to fossil fuel transport will be the focus of the world’s second Ecomobility World Festival, to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa during next October.

Organized to coincide with Transport Month, the city will showcase environmentally friendly modes of transportation with the use of a new rapid Rea Vaya bus and cycling and walking infrastructure constructed in the Sandton’s Central Business District (CBD).

“We want to show residents and visitors that an ecomobile future is possible and that public transport, walking and cycling can be accessible, safe, attractive and cool,” said Cllr Parks Tau, executive mayor of Johannesburg.

Certain streets in the business district will be car-free, opening lanes to cyclists, while the city will also organize fun runs, cycle rides and other events to attract people to the area.

Johannesburg is a dedicated member of ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). One of ICLEI’s key programs is EcoMobility—travel through socially inclusive and ecological transport options.

“The concept of an ‘EcoMobility World Festival’ is the chance for a city to demonstrate to the entire world that citizens and city leaders can make a difference in addressing climate change, urban emissions and urban livability through transport,” said Gino Van Begin, ICLEI’s secretary general. “The way we move defines the future of our cities.”