Roads in the centre of Edinburgh were closed to traffic for the first time on Sunday May 5th 2019 as the city joined the Open Streets movement to reduce air pollution.
Cities around the world have temporarily opened streets to people by closing them to cars, vans and other motorised vehicles on a regular basis.
The City of Edinburgh council said it was the first city in the UK to join the Open Streets movement and would be closing roads to traffic on the first Sunday of every month as part of an 18-month trial.
Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: “We’ve seen how successful similar schemes internationally have proved by encouraging active travel, improving air quality and creating a safer, more relaxed atmosphere so I can’t wait to see this take shape in the capital.
“Climate change is a real threat to society, it’s clear that we have to act, and Open Streets is undoubtedly a step in the right direction. We are wholeheartedly committed to creating an accessible, sustainable and people-friendly city and I look forward to seeing lots of residents and visitors enjoying all that’s on offer against a cleaner, more welcoming traffic-free backdrop.”
The streets closed included High Street, Cockburn Street, Grassmarket, Lawnmarket and Victoria Street. Open-air yoga, giant chess games, music and tai chi were among the activities on offer on Sunday.