Sunday

25th Jul 2021

Podcast

Winning the Car Wars

  • Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for years in favour of car-free urban space. That goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Lockdowns in response to the coronavirus mean quieter cities, clearer skies and easier breathing.

For many city dwellers the lack of cars has been a revelation amid the suffering and loss inflicted by Covid-19. Now some cities are putting plans to keep cars out into hyperdrive.

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Those moves foretell the kind of Europe where living together more sustainably becomes the norm. But such an outcome is not inevitable.

Pollution lobbies and the challenges facing mass transit systems are among the factors that could hold back a green recovery, says Mark Watts who heads the influential C40 network of global megacities.

Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for years in favour of car-free urban space.

That goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach.

We're grateful to the European Cultural Foundation for supporting this episode as a contribution to its Europe Day celebration. Visit the foundation's Europe Day website for more to see, read and experience.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

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