Northern Italian Cities to Ban Cars This Sunday

On Sunday, cities and towns across northern Italy will be smog-free for the day, according to Italian news agency ANSA. Northern Italy faces the country’s highest concentration of smog, and to combat the industrialized region’s smog problem, 80 cities and towns have agreed to take vehicles off the road on February 28.

Turin mayor Sergio Chiamparino, backed by several other mayors of northern Italian cities, announced the anti-smog day last week. Chiamparino emphasized that the one-day traffic halt must be followed by long-term smog-reducing measures. He hopes that Italy will continue to fight its smog problem by providing incentives to consumers who buy environmentally-friendly cars and pushing for greener, more efficient energy.

Although traffic bans have previously been performed several times in Milan and other cities, the February 28 ban is the first official, organized vehicle ban in northern Italy. Cities participating in the automobile ban range from bigger cities like Bologna to small towns. — Elaine Murphy