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Italy celebrates first Car-Free Day to curb city pollution

01-31-2011 11:14 BJT

ROME, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Italy celebrated its first Car-Free Day of the year in several cities on Sunday in an attempt to curb gas emissions and spread awareness among citizens on climate change and a healthy lifestyle through a series of environment- friendly initiatives.

In Turin, Milan and other Italian cities, during the entire day the only vehicles allowed to circulate were electric cars and bicycles. Public transport's frequency was enhanced while the local authorities placed bike-sharing stands across the districts for citizens.

The goal of holding Car-Free Sundays is to cut down on gas emissions and limit traffic after the recent alarm launched by the national atmosphere agency on the excessive levels of CO2 in most Italian cities.

According to a report of Italy's leading NGO Legambiente, 48 Italian provincial capitals, of which 30 concentrated in northern Po Valley, had exceeded the EU limit for over 35 days in 2010.

More than 15 Italians out of 10,000 die prematurely each year just because of the fine particles, the report said.

The local authorities have also launched an information campaign for drivers on the need to turn down their car heaters to curb harmful gas emissions, while leading newspapers are publishing useful guidebooks on how to best exploit car-free days and help the environment.

Most Italian cities plan to organize at least once a month a Car-Free Sunday to limit city pollution levels and increase residents' well-being.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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