In Norway’s capital city, they are taking steps towards a car-free city center by 2019. It is part of a larger plan, which would see the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2020. That’s right, FIVE years from now. Oslo is showing the world that through careful civic planning, and investing in new, green infrastructure (such as bike lanes, better public transit, and tax breaks for electric alternative transportation), ambitious carbon emission reduction targets are a very real possibility for any major urban centre. With new Canadian leadership in place, there will certainly be many opportunities to accelerate our way forward in the fight against climate change. The focus should be on government leadership to realize Canada’s own insights about where and when change can and should occur. With cities as large as large as Paris exploring a car-free day city center, really, what excuse do we have not to get started?
Tune in to our upcoming e-Dialogue this Friday on what kind of change is necessary in Canada--incremental, transitional or transformational as scientists from across Canada discuss the pros and cons of three scenarios.