Milan and Rome introduce car bans as pollution levels rise

The two largest cities in Italy have taken drastic measures as pollution levels continue to rise and smog builds up. The new regulations target cars, but also … pizza ovens.

Image via BFTV

Milan is banning all cars, motorcycles and scooters for 6 hours a day over the next three days, while in Rome, cars with odd-numbered plates have been banned for 9 hours on Monday, and even-numbered plates have the same ban on Tuesday. In Rome, hybrid and electric cars are exempt from the ban.

“In these days of major emergency, we cannot remain indifferent,” Milan mayor Giuliano Pisapia said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the smaller city of San Vitaliano, just outside Naples, took another interesting measure, banning the use of wood-fired pizza stoves. The stoves will need to be fitted with anti-pollution filters before being allowed to function again.

Milan is one of Europe’s most polluted large cities and Rome is not far behind, but many are accusing authorities of ignoring the real problems and taking an ineffective approach. However, a similar measure was taken in Beijing and yielded very good results following a red pollution alert – the most severe of its kind.

Meanwhile, other cities in Europe plan to become completely car free. For example, Hamburg in Germany wants to eliminate cars completely in 20 years.

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