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One day without cars - Tbilisi joins World Car Free Day

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, September 22
Some Tbilisi residents have decided to leave their vehicles at home and instead walk or take public transport as Georgia’s capital Tbilisi joins World Car Free Day for the first time on Thursday.

World Car Free Day in Tbilisi was organised and led by the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy's (NIMD) Representative in the Eastern European Neighbourhood, Levan Tsutskiridze. He stressed the significance of citizens voicing their issues with their home city.

The organizers believe that through participation in the initiative, Tbilisi residents will help their city attain a healthy environment for a day, and taking part in the event would also raise awareness of the somewhat polluted environment.

World Car Free Day was introduced in 1997 by the World Car Free Network, an international hub promoting "alternatives to car dependence and automobile-based planning".

Those who stood behind Georgia’s joining the event stressed that if each person covered 15km of their daily commute without a private vehicle, they would reduce CO2 emissions by 3,500 grams per person on average.

They also asked Tbilisi City Hall and its staff to join the campaign.

In response, Mayor David Narmania and his deputy Lasha Abashidze said they would walk to work.

Georgia joining such events is a positive step, as pollution is a general problem in Tbilisi and affects all of the city's residents.

Many people still do not understand what a negative influence the polluted environment has on their lives.

The number of fatal diseases increases in Georgia from year to year, and the polluted environment is one of the key reasons for this.

The Government, various organisations and every citizen should take action to raise public awareness of the issue.

An informed population means a more responsible population.

Meanwhile, the authorities must take measures to address the problem. Unfortunately, neither the previous nor the current government managed to encourage a breakthrough in tackling environmental issues.

Tbilisi still remains as one of the most polluted cities in the world, and the selling of low quality fuel, the driving of outdate cars and the cutting of tress all contribute to this.