Today, on Car Free Sunday, cars are not allowed, and pedestrians and cyclists are king in 36 cities and municipalities in Belgium, including the entire Brussels-Capital Region.
Car Free Sunday falls in the middle of Mobility Week, which takes place from Thursday 16 to Wednesday 22 September, and is “an opportunity to introduce people to sustainable solutions,” says organiser Mobiel 21.
“The great involvement of local residents during this edition of the Car Free Sunday is remarkable,” Sanne Vanderstraeten, project manager at Mobiel 21, told the Belga news agency. “Play streets and neighbourhood gatherings dominate the programme.”
Additionally, Car Free Sunday falls in the same period as the World Cycling Championships this year, leading various Flemish guest cities and municipalities, such as Bruges and Leuven, to do everything they can to give sustainable mobility a stage during this cycling festival.
They will make a special alternative for the Car Free Sunday in the theme of the World Championships.
“Healthier air, more peace and quiet, and safer traffic. A day without ‘king car’ is good for the ears, lungs and heart,” Vanderstraeten said. “It is the ideal opportunity to test various mobility alternatives, such as (electric) bicycles, e-steps and to learn more about shared mobility and public transport.”
In the 19 Brussels municipalities, Car Free Sunday is a year-long established event. For one day, they once again form the largest car-free zone in all of Europe, according to Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt.
“Today, the entire Brussels region is car-free. Enjoy it, make use of the space and opportunities that today offers,” she said on Twitter.
We bieden vandaag de grootste autovrije zone aan van Europa. Het hele Brusselse Gewest is autovrij. Geniet ervan, maak gebruik van de ruimte en de mogelijkheden die vandaag biedt. #deochtend #autolozezondag #brusselverandert
— Elke Van den Brandt (@elkevdbrandt) September 19, 2021
The cities and municipalities taking part are Aarschot, Antwerp, Asse, Beveren, Boortmeerbeek, Brussels, De Pinte, Deinze, Dendermonde, Diest, Ghent, Grobbendonk, Vorselaar, Haacht, Haaltert, Heist-op-den-Berg, Hove, Ichtegem, Ypres, Kortrijk, Landen, Lier, Mechelen, Meise, Merelbeke, Oudenaarde, Roeselare, Rotselaar, Sint-Niklaas, Tienen, Tongeren, Turnhout, Veurne, Vilvoorde, Wevelgem, and Zottegem. Hasselt already organised a Car Free Sunday on 12 September.