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Rwanda’s Capital Kicks Cars Off the Streets for a Day Every Month

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Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, is closing down its streets to drivers and establishing a monthly Car Free Day.

The city introduced the day in May, and held it for the third time on Sunday. Kigali closed main connecting routes to traffic “to encourage people to walk, jog as well as ride bicycles” in the streets, said Mayor Monique Mukaruliza according to Rwanda’s New Times.

“The move is aimed at encouraging mass sports and exercise along the affected route through introducing the much anticipated green transport and green city,” Mukaruliza said.

Residents took to the streets and gathered at a local stadium for health and eye exams, offered as part of the wellness efforts. The City Council has paired with the Rwanda Biomedical Center to promote ‘Green Transport’ like walking or biking because exercise can reduce non-communicable disease prevalence.

Other cities across the world are taking steps to promote transport beyond motor vehicles. In its own version of Car Free Day, New York City closes down a few miles of Park Avenue for multiple Saturdays of ‘Summer Streets.’


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com