Last Friday, September 22, we did the Slow Race in Barcelona, ​​taking advantage of the car-free day. We had participants of all ages who tried to maintain the balance as long as possible, begging that their opponents put their foot on the ground before them. Thanks to the Ajuntament de Barcelona and Biciclot for the space, our friends from Outcubator and Despacio, and all the participants (especially the slowest ones) who understood that going slow is also cool!

What a good exercise to rethink our daily speed. Going slowly in daily life not only increases our safety by ensuring a better reaction capacity, but also allows us to look at details, discover or rediscover everyday urban activities and reach our destinations without stress. Rushing doesn’t make much sense in a city where every 113 meters there is a traffic light, most likely in red. How many times do we meet the same people at every traffic light no matter how fast they go from one to the other? This study made by Despacio in Bogotá shows how time savings are insignificant for those who are in a hurry (in spanish).

That's why these heroes won for being the slowest!

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On “Car-free” day

Now, although we must be grateful for Car-free day, we have to insist: in Barcelona, ​​despite the 76 closed streets this year (20 more than last year), there are still too many cars. Barcelona’s air quality is enough argument for taking stricter measures in initiatives like this, so that the message reaches the ones that should listen. As an example, Paris celebrated its third mandatory car-free day, this time in a broader area than the previous two years (105 km2!). There, from 11 am to 6 pm, no private car or motorcycle were allowed, only emergencies vehicles and public transport. The residents and visitors of Paris made use of public or non-motorized means of transport to move, and at the same time took advantage of the spaces freed up by the car to fill the streets with life. Making car-free mandatory in Barcelona should be as feasible as in Paris for its wide public transport network, cycling infrastructure and walkability. Hopefully we won’t have to wait for air quality to worsen at levels like those in the French capital to implement similar measures.