India's first car-free day returns streets to people
Raahgiri Day, India's first sustained car‐free event, launched in the city of Gurgaon in 2013. Since then, Raahgiri has expanded to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) of streets, and every Sunday, streets are closed to all motorized vehicles until noon. The street closures encourage people to walk, cycle, exercise, and reclaim their streets for safer roads, cleaner air, increased physical activity and community building. The event has attracted over a million participants in Gurgaon and has helped change perceptions of public space in India.
Following the success of Raahgiri Day, additional cities have replicated the event with the help of the Raahgiri toolkit and capacity building workshops. The event has the support of the public administration and traffic police, who have used the event to launch their own initiatives on road safety. Raahgiri Day has won numerous national and international awards, and has led to “spin off” brands like Equal Streets. The Ministry of Urban Development recognized it as the best practice for promoting non‐motorized transport at the Urban Mobility India awards 2014.
Our team in India played a crucial role in conceptualizing, creating, planning, and organizing the first event in Gurgaon and helped start the event in 14 more cities. The team partnered with media and used social media as a driver to raise awareness and draw crowds.
Learn more about Raahgiri Day on TheCityFix