Normally overrun by cars, rather than people and bikes. Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

The radical experiment to cut smog appears to have worked.

So successful was Paris’s first “day without cars” on September 27 that the city’s mayor wants to expand the effort to help clean up the city’s terrible air quality. The single-day initiative made 30 percent of the city’s roads off-limits to automobiles, but even that minor reduction in traffic was enough to cut pollution levels—and noise—significantly.

The Guardian reports that according to Airparif, which measures city pollution levels, some parts of Paris registered 40 percent less nitrogen dioxide (which produces smog) in the air on September 27. On the bustling Avenue des Champs-Élysées, nitrogen dioxide levels were 30 percent lower than on other Sundays. And Bruitparif, which measures urban noise, recorded half as much volume in the city center as normal.

Paris has struggled with embarrassingly smoggy air at times this year, and ahead of an international climate meeting in the French capital in November, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is on a mission to clean things up.

Hidalgo wants to eliminate diesel use in Paris.

“My goal is to eradicate this harmful fuel in our city.”

Hidalgo is also shooting to get cigarette butts off the street.

Her goal for the next car-free day is to encompass a larger section of the city.

And eventually, the hope would be for Paris to have monthly car-free days, Hidalgo has said.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

If You Want Your Kid to Learn, Testing Is a Good Thing

This Massive Air Purifier Vacuums Up Smog—Which Ends Up in Jewelry

Can Deforestation Be Stopped?

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  3. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  4. Amazon HQ2

    New York’s Ejection of Amazon Is the Start of a Movement

    NYC lawmakers who led a resistance campaign against HQ2 are declaring victory. And already, they have plans to escalate their opposition to tax incentives.

  5. a photo of high-speed rail tracks under construction in Fresno, California.
    Transportation

    Think of California High-Speed Rail as an $11 Billion Streetcar

    California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to complete only a Central Valley segment of the rail link risks turning the transportation project into an economic development tool.