Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Air Quality

Car-Free Sundays Cutting Pollution & Noise In São Paulo, Brazil

Originally published on Bikocity.

In São Paulo, Brazil, citizens are enjoying less air and noise pollution – at least on one day a week. On Sundays, during what is called Paulista Aberta, motor traffic is restricted on the popular Paulista Avenue and the street is dedicated to cyclists and pedestrians. Grassroots group Minha Sampa campaigned for the event since 2014 and on June 28, 2015, the car-free initiative was realized. The event sparked discussion about the pros and cons of the car-free zone.

After lacking hard evidence to prove the positive impact of the popular and attractive Paulista Aberta, TheCityFix recently reported that new studies show a reduction in air and noise pollution on those Sundays the street enjoys car-free life.

Paulista Avenue Sau Paulo

Carta Capital, a local newspaper, initially reported that businesses and hospitals near Paulista Avenue were against the car-free period. However, this may have been erroneous because, when surveyed by Sampapé and Minha Sampa, local hospitals were in favor of the initiative and only 25% of businesses were opposed.

Using methodology from University of São Paulo’s Experimental Air Pollution Laboratory, researchers for the partnership between University of São Paulo and an unspecified non-governmental organization have found that, during the event, air and noise pollution show a general decrease.

Paulista Avenue Sau Paulo traffic

The study, conducted between November and December of 2015, measured noise and particle matter in the air on a normal weekday and during Paulista Aberta. Contrary to critic speculation, despite buses being rerouted, the car-free Sunday did not increase air or noise pollution – in fact, the opposite was found.

Air pollution improved at every measured point despite still being at unacceptable levels according to the World Health Organization.

Noise pollution lowered for the majority of the day.

In what is surely a win for the car-free movement, advocates have solidified their claims that Paulista Aberta has a positive effect on the health of the community — score one for the good guys.

Images of Paulista Avenue by Gustavo Gomes (some rights reserved) and David Castañón (some rights reserved)

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

is a working father in New York City by way of Sarasota, Florida. He is a public transportation enthusiast, clean air advocate, lifetime recycler and frequent panderer. He also reluctantly tended to his family's compost heap for many formative years. He hopes to one day leave his daughter with a safer, healthier environment than when she was born; which shouldn't be hard since she was born in Queens, New York.


You May Also Like


Leather remains a lucrative commodity and a big problem for many automotive brands, which are being linked to the environmental degradation of the Amazon...

Air Quality

Courtesy of University of Michigan. A walk in the park could soon include getting real-time measurements of pollutants in the air and updated walking...


There are plenty of really good reasons to improve micromobility infrastructure. While EVs are better than gas or diesel-powered vehicles, an e-bike, electric scooter,...


In a world where electric bike prices seem to just keep going up, GEN3 has dropped the Stride at the incredibly affordable price of...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.