The campaign to restrict driving is modelled on a similar program initiated by 35 cities in France on September 22, 1998. "Car-free Day" was established by the European Commission in 2000 and was adopted by more than 1,000 cities last year.
Some environmental protection agencies in Beijing are also making car-free days their ultimate goal.
"We will mark Car-free Day on September 22 this year, at least in certain areas or streets in Beijing," said Liao Xiaoyi, president of Global Village of Beijing, a non-governmental organization promoting environmental protection.
The goal of taking cars off the streets of a city or some target area or neighbourhood for all or part of a day is to give the people who live and work there a chance to consider how their city might look and work with a lot fewer cars, Liao said.
In China, the event began in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, in 2001. Public transport and bicycles were the only vehicles allowed on the streets and buses passing through the area were free for residents.
(China Daily June 5, 2006)