Rwanda is banning cars from its capital twice a month

Other cities across the world are taking steps to promote transport beyond motor vehicles.

Instead, the streets were filled with groups of Rwandans clad in sweats and sneakers, walking, jogging, or stretching. People gathered in Rwanda’s biggest stadium, the Amahoro Stadium, for free eye tests and general medical check ups.

Other cities across the world are taking steps to promote transport beyond motor vehicles. In its own version of Car Free Day, New York City closes down a few miles of Park Avenue for multiple Saturdays of ‘Summer Street.’

Kigali’s car free days started in 2016 and this year the city has planned to hold it twice every month.

This development amongst others is one of a slew of city improvement measures that Rwanda has undertaken in its bid to become one of Africa’s cleanest and most developed cities.

Kigali is consistently ranked among the cleanest and safest cities in the world, a sharp turnaround for a country that experienced a deadly genocide two decades ago.

But critics say Kigali’s many rules focus too much on fighting “sign of poverty” rather than poverty itself. Homeless people, street children, and street vendors—once deemed by the mayor of Kigali to be an “impediment to cleanliness“—are being detained in so-called “rehabilitation centers” where they are often beaten and deprived of food and water, according to Human Rights Watch last month.

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