To encourage public transport South Korea to observe ‘Car-free Day’

Citizens wanting to go to the ‘Car-Free Street’ during this time will have to come by public transportation.

South Korea will observe car-free day in the heart of the capital Seoul on Sunday to encourage its citizens to use more public transport to ease the burden on environment.

‘Seoul Car-Free Day’ will be held on September 16 from 7 AM until 8 PM (local time) on the ‘Car-Free Street’ Sejong-daero (from Gwanghwamun to Seoul Plaza), the Seoul Metropolitan government said.

Citizens wanting to go to the ‘Car-Free Street’ during this time will have to come by public transportation, it said.

There will be a no-power parade through the City Hall during which traffic restrictions would be in place, according to the Seoul Metropolitan government, it said.

This year’s ‘Seoul Car-Free Day’ event has been pushed a week ahead from the original September 22 scheduled date in consideration of the Chuseok holidays. Chuseok is a Korean thanksgiving festival during which families get together to celebrate.

The campaign seeks reduction in driving of private cars and active use of public transportation systems, including subways (metro) and buses in order to reduce air pollution from cars and cut down on greenhouse gases.

Sejong-daero, the boulevard named after the legendary Korean ruler King Sejong, is situated in the heart of Seoul and the space between its two carriageways, stretching from Gwanghwamun to Seoul Plaza is an iconic public square frequented by domestic and foreign tourists for recreation, and used by local people for hosting various events on multifarious themes.

An iconic giant statue of King Sejong is situated in the public square in the backdrop of an ancient palace facing the square.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has also planned to hold environmentally-friendly events along with the main ‘car-free day’ event, seeking to minimise the use of single-use items and plastic, it said.

“There will also be various events and programmes that the whole family can enjoy from children to elderly, including a citizen walk, anniversary ceremony, putting the environmentally-friendliness label, drawing pictures on reused large banners, no-power parade, environment and culture festival, stage performances, and 40 experiential booths,” the local government said.

The environment and culture festival at the end of the car-free event will be held from 4:30 PM, starting with a street performance from the pungmul band, along with a bubble show, fashion show with recycled, reused banners, and an environment madanggeuk (theatrical play) ceremony on the stage, it said.

These environmentally-friendly events to minimise the use of single-use items and plastics, will differ from those held in the previous years in that they will “not provide plastic Arisu water bottles, and will instead have Arisu water fountains installed at various locations, and participants are encouraged to bring their own bottles, cups, or tumblers”.

City Hall (new state-of-the-art high-rise building) is the headquarters of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and located close to busy Gwanghwamun area, where a number of public buildings, government offices and private establishments are situated.

Source: Financial Express