It’s exactly one year since the city of Suwon in South Korea practised an amazing experiment. In the Haenggung-dong neighborhood, 1500 cars were removed from the streets as their 4,343 owners volunteered not to use them for one whole month.
The Eco-mobility World Festival, as it was called, was an eminent success. Most residents on the world’s first month-long car-free diet became convinced that living without a car was healthier, more sustainable, environmentally friendly and fun way to live and resolved to claim back the streets that had been designed to accommodate more cars and bring them back to the people.
According to the subsequently-produced report, “Haenggung-dong residents discovered that in a neighborhood without cars, the space between buildings transforms from car parks and conduits to safe and green places to gather, to enjoy leisure activities, to linger in, and to enjoy.”
Suwon street after the changes to make them more liveable and car-free.