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One of the most famous car-free cities in the world, Venice is known for its cobbled pedestrian streets, tightly packed historic buildings and network of canals. Venice’s Centro Storico or historic city centre is Europe's largest car-free space, connected to the mainland with a bridge. The city comprises of 118 different islands that have been connected with canals and bridges. Its narrow streets and countless steps make it difficult for vehicular traffic to pass through.  Image credit: Image by postcardtrip from Pixabay

Seven global cities and towns that are car-free

New Delhi once again claimed the top spot in the infamous list of the world’s most polluted capitals. India is also home to 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world, as per IQ AirVisual, a Swiss-based group that gathers air quality data.

Vehicular and industrial emissions contribute largely to Delhi’s toxic air. This had prompted Delhi authorities to consider experimenting with car-free zones in areas such as Connaught Place, a plan first mooted in 2017 which was shelved due to opposition from the local traders who contented that this would affect their business.

Most modern cities and developments are built considering vehicular traffic, making provisions for wider roads, parking and more road infrastructure. While this makes travel convenient, it has also led to several problems including pollution, congestion and an increase in traffic accidents.

Some towns across the world are car-free by default, while other major cities are experimenting with making certain areas car-free. While they may be difficult to emulate in larger cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, there are lessons in planning we can learn from them that can be applied to smaller towns across the country.