South America

Curitiba celebrates first Carfree Month

We had a lot of ideas for a Carfree Day in Curitiba. But it was impossible to promote a big event without municipal support to help spread the word, close streets, hire performers etc. We soon realised that we would have to do everything by ourselves, so we decided to make a Carfree Month full of small events instead of a Carfree Day with only a big one. The principle was simple: whoever came up with an idea would be responsible to execute it.

During the month we organised four street music shows and four open discussion groups with themes ranging from Ivan Illich's revolutionary ideas to the cyclists' situation in Brazil. We also organised activities such as a walk in the gardens of our city, a photo exposition entitled "Less gasoline, more adrenaline", a bike tour to the city dump so as to raise awareness about garbage disposal and a Cycle Day featuring a festive bike ride through the city, filled with prizes and surprises, musical shows and a bike fair.

The actual World Carfree Day itself started with a Park(ing) day. At noon, local sustainability groups planted flowers inside public garbage cans and painted bikes on the asphalt. A talk with mayor candidates was later held to demand urgent measures to revert all the investments to motorised traffic. And finally we began our Bike March: 300 cyclists swept the streets of the city. The feeling of freedom and happiness was so intense that a few riders didn't resist and took off their clothes.

- Bicicletada Curitiba

More information: Bicicletada Curitiba

Florianopolis, Brazil

Florianopolis celebrated World Carfree Day with lots of activities. A debate on mobility, with more than 50 participants, was organised, while 300 leaflets were distributed at traffic lights; a modal split challenge occurred - the cyclist was victorious - while more than 200 people participated in a walk and bike ride. A new cycle lane was "inaugurated" by 15 activists and an afternoon Parking Day (Vaga Viva) was help. The events were organised by ViaCiclo, UDESC, Bicicletada Floripa, Escola da Fazenda, Campeche Community Radio and Community Health Council of Fazenda do Rio Tavares Neighbourhood.

- ViaCiclo

More information: ViaCiclo

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 This page was last updated 24 October 2008