NEWS

Ditch the car, use your feet

We have seen joy, happiness and passion in pubic spaces, but these are images that are getting rarer by the day, of children playing in the street, people taking carefree strolls with their kids in the park, couples embracing on city benches. Noise, pollution and the danger of speeding cars keep us off the streets. Athens and Thessaloniki have become hazards to both our mental and physical health. We know that they will once again become livable places that inspire us. There are many good examples. Are we prepared to follow them? Walking, cycling and efficient public transport are key to the fate of Athens and Thessaloniki. Walking takes you close to the details: colors, smells and sounds. The air and the peace embrace you, nurturing health and sense of security. But these days it’s hard to breathe in public spaces. Riding a silent, environmentally clean, quiet cycle you discover a different world, gentler, more civilized, and with new companions. It’s a change from impersonal, annoying trips. Modern public transport is comfortable and efficient, and it nurtures a sense of collectivity. The creation of pedestrian zones has drawn out the smiles buried deep within us. Street art and a sense of nonchalance emerge when the city gives them a chance.