Officials in Oslo, Norway have announced that they plan on banning cars from the city’s central core by 2019.
The new initiative comes on the heels of the city’s September election, which saw the Labour Party, the Socialist Left, and the Green Party take control of the city council.
The plan will first ban private cars while mass-transit vehicles would still be permitted. The council hopes that banning cars would improve pedestrian experience in the city as well as benefit the environment.
The Green Party’s Lan Marie Nguyen Berg said, “We want to make it better for pedestrians, cyclists. It will be better for shops and everyone,” according to Reuters.
Nguyen Berg added: “In 2030, there will still be people driving cars but they must be zero-emissions,” The Guardian reports.
Oslo has about 600,000 inhabitants, but only 1,000 people live in the city centre. More than 90,000 arrive everyday to work there.
Oslo’s announcement makes greener roads a nearer future. As Nguyen Berg said, efficient cars will still be allowed in the Norwegian city center.
Recently, Toyota announced its own plan to make all cars electric by 2050. In addition, companies like Google are testing self-driving cars, which are meant to encourage carpooling, thus helping the environment.
Previously, Paris instituted its own automobile ban. The French capital sought to reduce pollution, but unlike Oslo’s, Paris’ restrictions were only temporary. Police monitored drivers’ license plates and allowed only even-numbered plates on certain days and odd-numbered on others.
Oslo City Council has yet to announce how it will implement its 2019 ban, but it will likely be more comprehensive than Paris’ brief attempt. The goal, as Nguyen Berg states, remains straightforward and the government plans to achieve it: “We want to have a car-free center.”