Oslo will be car-free by 2019

October 19, 2015, 6:58 PM UTC
Norway Oslo Oslo - Karl Johans Gata Street and the city palace
(GERMANY OUT) Norway Oslo Oslo - Karl Johans Gata Street and the city palace (Photo by Schöning/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
ullstein bild ullstein bild via Getty Images

Oslo plans to ban all cars from its city center within the next four years in an attempt to help reduce pollution, Reuters reports.

Capital cities, including Paris, have previously placed temporary bans on cars, and others, including London and Madrid, have congestion charges in order to reduce traffic. But this is the first time that a capital city is seeing such a comprehensive ban.

Shop owners worry that it will harm their businesses, but the city council believes that the ban stands to benefit all citizens. Lan Marie Nguyen Berg, lead negotiator for Oslo’s Green Party, insists, “We want to have a car-free center.. We want to make it better for pedestrians, cyclists. It will be better for shops and everyone.”

The city plans to build 60km worth of bicycle lanes within the next four years and invest more heavily in public transportation. The city council will almost make special arrangements for vehicles shipping goods to stores and for cars that carry people with disabilities.

The city has a population of about 600,000, with nearly 350,000 cars, most of which are based outside of the city center.