Under mayor Anne Hidalgo, Paris has seen its first car-free day in the city centre, as well as a lower speed limit in other nearby districts.
The car-free day was initially proposed by the collective Paris Without Cars; a movement concerned with limiting pollution, and has been timed to coincide with the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference. While anti-pollution movements are common throughout most developed areas of the world, in Paris, this movement has particular salience following the news in March that Paris was the most polluted city in the world. During this period, the smog in the city centre was so dense that it resulted in the city’s landmarks being obscured, including the majority of the Eiffel Tower.
Geography applicants should consider the causes behind the rising pollution levels in Paris, with particular attention to how the automotive industry has contributed to the rising smog levels. As Economics applicants should be aware, France has the highest percentage of diesel cars on the road due to successive price depreciations over several governments, making it more cost-effective than petrol.
While the day was a success for many Parisians, with one woman in particular noting that walking through Paris without the same concentration of pollution was “like a headache lifting,” the day was not without its detractors. In particular, some criticised the extension of the ‘car-free’ zone – only around one-third of the city in total was affected by the ban, and as ‘car-free’ didn’t include taxis and buses, many streets remained busy and filled with traffic, preventing the pedestrianisation that the movement intended to temporarily create.
HSPS and Psychology applicants should consider the sociological and psychological impacts of a traffic-free day; how the absence of business and pollution can impact upon social interaction. As one member of the public who practiced yoga in the centre of the city put it: “everyone’s on a bike and smiling. It’s incredible to see”.
- Application Calendar Making an application to Oxford or Cambridge can seem like... Read more >
- HAT mini mock paper The History Aptitude Test or ‘HAT’ must be sat by... Read more >
- What Results Do You Need In Your Exams? At the heart of every Oxbridge offer is an excellent... Read more >
- July’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- MAT mini mock paper & answers If you are planning to apply to Oxford to read... Read more >
- Cambridge college snapshots Despite having a smaller number of colleges than Oxford, each of... Read more >
- Science Puzzle: experimenting with mice… We asked our Medicine graduate Jennifer to tell us a... Read more >
- April’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Medical & Biological Sciences Reading Lists Medicine and the whole range of Biological Sciences are highly... Read more >
- TSA Cambridge mini mock & answers The Thinking Skills Assessment is required for a number of... Read more >
- What’s so special about Oxford and Cambridge? Both Oxford and Cambridge have fearsome reputations. The Oxbridge system... Read more >
- PPE: answer like a pro If you’re applying for Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) or... Read more >
- Download a Philosophy Personal Statement “Philosophy of the mind is my particular interest, especially the... Read more >
- Music Reading List Applying for Music at Cambridge or Oxford requires a range... Read more >
- 30 Real-Life Oxford and Cambridge Interview Questions The Oxford and Cambridge interviews are notorious for having academically... Read more >
- Taking a Gap Year There are a number of advantages to taking a gap... Read more >
- History of Art Reading List History of Art at Oxford and Cambridge allows you to... Read more >
- Course By Course Fact Sheet This helpful guide sets out by course what grades you... Read more >
- Oxford and Cambridge Access Schemes Oxford and Cambridge aim to offer places to the best... Read more >
- HAT overview If you’re applying for History, or its joint schools, you... Read more >
- UCAS: A How To Guide The process of applying to university through UCAS can seem... Read more >
- January’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- International Applicant Handbook This incredible resource will guide you through every stage of... Read more >
- TSA Oxford mini mock & answers Thinking is very important to Oxford, so they’ve devised an... Read more >