The Sandton Car Ban And An Eco-Friendly Jozi
The month of October will see cars banned in a few areas in Sandton as we look towards an eco-friendly future.
by Shawn Greyling Posted: 2015/08/16
During the month of October the Central Business District of Sandton will be declared a car-free zone in order to host the 2015 Ecomobility World Festival. The crux of the festival is to enable residents and visitors from across the globe to experience what a future, car-free precinct would look like. According to Joburg's Executive Mayor Parks Tau, a comprehensive traffic management plan will be put in place to minimise the temporary impact of disruptions and to keep the public informed about alternative arrangements. The EcoMobility World Festival and Exhibition is a global event hosted in a major international city. The first festival organised in partnership with Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) was held in Suwon, South Korea in 2013.
According to a press statement released by ICLEI, Sandton's objectives during the month-long festival are to:
- encourage behavioural changed by showing that car-free methods of transport - walking, cycling and public transport - are achievable and have many positive impacts on commuters and the environment;
- envisage the future by showing what the Sandton CBD and surrounding areas will look like once alternative transport infrastructure has been introduced;
- contribute to making Johannesburg a cycling-friendly city through profiling dedicated cycling lanes and leisure events such as the Freedom Ride between Sandton and Alexandra;
- create awareness about the positive contribution that sustainable transport can make to mitigate climate change and create a future for coming generations; and
- showcase Johannesburg's initiatives to promote clean, sustainable transport and reduce harmful carbon emissions.
Furthermore, the event will be used as a launch pad for MetroBus to unveil its new 150 fleet eco-friendly busses. Though envisioning the richest mile in Africa with virtually no cars - except for delivery vehicles and special arrangements for those with disabilities - is a daunting thought - though it will lead to a better standard of living and will lessen the pressure of the area's carbon footprint on the metropolitan as a whole. The idea is to slowly but surely move the entire city over to the system made popular in Europe, where commuters make more use of public transport and cycle lanes. In a Q&A held with Mayor Tau via the Times' Facebook page, he assured members of the public that the cycle- and widened pedestrian lanes will be finished before the start of the festival. He went on to post that extra security will be put in place to keep an eye on the influx of pedestrians. A detailed Park & Ride system has been put in place and more info on this can be found on the Transport Management Plan - the cost will start from R10 per ride of which the locations will be disclosed closer to the event.
The City of Johannesburg has taken a firm decision to move towards a greener future. At the core of this shift is the provision of public infrastructure to make public transport, walking and cycling easier, safer and more accessible. This event will be a massive step forward for this World-Class African City.
For more information visit the Ecomobility Festival's website