National Pedestrian Day in Bolivia

Taking a page out of the Open Streets movement and the Park(ing) Day celebrations from around the world, Bolivia celebrated its first “National Day of the Pedestrain” this past September.

The event encouraged residents to use active transportation by banning private vehicles, trucks and even buses for one day. According to BBC News, a one-day ban on motor vehicles took two million vehicles off the streets in nine cities.

Bolivia’s pedestrianization efforts come in the wake of recent clashes over a controversial highway project.  If it had been completed, the highway project was expected to run through Isiboro Secure National Park and Indigenous Territory, a part of the Amazon Basin and home to indigenous inhabitants. The project was criticized for its contribution to deforestation, as well as its effect on the livelihoods of the native residents who survive as fishers, hunters, gatherers and farmers. Since the clash, Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales announced that he will cancel the plans for the highway project.

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