Showcases

Helping Londoners reimagine their city – Car free

Client:

Transport for London

Sector:

Transport

Audience:

General public

London's biggest World Car Free Day celebrations yet

We worked with TfL and GLA to deliver London’s biggest World Car Free Day celebrations yet, delivering creative and logistics to transform the city centre into a paved paradise.

Air pollution is one of the biggest health emergencies of our generation. Over 2M Londoners live in areas that exceed legal limits for nitrogen dioxide. 400,000 children under the age of 18 are among that population.

Increasing awareness

There are clear reasons why World Car Free Day was set up – and is gaining more traction globally. But there were more surprising insights about the situation in London that shed light on our role for the London 2019 event:

  • Three in four Londoners are worried about the health impacts of air pollution
  • Over 50 per cent of London’s air pollution is caused by vehicles
  • But a TfL survey found one in two Londoners don’t realise this

We understood that the success of this event wasn’t just about keeping cars out of the city centre for a day. Vitally, it was about bringing the people of London into the experience and raising awareness of traffic pollution by firing up their imaginations.

World Car Free Day Public Event

Reimagine your city. Car free

This was our call to action, which we invited locals and visitors alike to do by exploring London from a unique perspective – one special day of clean airopen roads, fun and entertainment for 150,000 people.

Free public bikes and ‘pedal taxi’ rides helped to kick off the incentive to really change the scene on London’s roads beyond Car Free Day.

World Car Free Day Public Event

Move, play, chill, taste, show

After closing off 27km of city centre roads early that Sunday morning, we had a lot of space to fill with fun activities. We managed and coordinated over 30 activation sites and more than 70 live performances.

 

Based on 5 different themes, we transformed the City of London into a mass public celebration – with flags and event maps to help the public rediscover their city.

    • Free public cycles & tours
    • Dance class & performance stage
    • BMX half pipe near Bank
    • Hedge maze in Cheapside
    • Build and race your own go-kart
    • ‘Actual Reality’ physical arcade games
    • Sunrise yoga on Tower Bridge
    • Wellness complex in Guildhall square
    • Mini ‘parklets’ throughout the footprint
    • Global street food market & family picnic area
    • Healthy eating ideas at Guildhall
    • Water refill points across the city
    • 12 performance areas including 2 solar-powered stages
    • Roving performers e.g. a ‘marching’ band in rickshaws
    • First in situ re-enactment of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt

Keeping it green

Clearly, a lot of components went into Car Free Day. How could we make sure our decisions were helping to support the environment – at an event that is fundamentally about making green choices? We chose to:

  • Ditch single-use bottles and encourage staff and performers to bring & refill
  • Brief our food stall suppliers to go completely plastic-free
  • Design the signage that could be reused without ‘2019’ printed on it!
  • Donate trees from our ‘parklets’ to a local school’s green space
  • Run the activation’s power from battery/solar rather than fuel generators

What did we walk (or cycle) away with?

The people of London got to see their city from a new perspective: for one day, the roads were all theirs. We just helped them celebrate it. Staff, performers and visitors walked away from the city centre with clean air in their lungs and a refreshing perspective on what our capital could be like – in a better future.

Impact

What we created had a lot of major players really excited about the day and what it means. The Tower of London was tweeting about it, as well as TfL, the Walking & Cycling Commissioner and The Mayor of London.

A fantastic reaction on social media