“A Day Without Cars” is a promotional event held every year since 2010 in Marrakech. This event is organized and hosted by Mawarid and its partners to raise interest for riding bikes around the city, promote sustainable mobility in Marrakech and show the environmental benefits of cycling vs. driving.
This is a 12 Kilometer ride and proceeds from bike rentals are donated to local charities. The first iteration was on Earth Day 2010 and has quickly become an anticipated event. Marawid starts promoting “A Day Without Cars” three months before the event. They use a variety of resources consisting of social media, word of mouth, and local news programs. This event has grown over the last four years and to date has had approximately 830 riders participate.
Marawid would like to see this event grow to about 1,000 participants a year. Marawid has a long term goal of having the Marrakech adapt a sustainable transportation system that would support bicycling within the city and other alternative clean transportation modes. Mawarid would also like this event to grow to a level will have international dimensions and that it will also gain attention from politicians and be a tourist attraction in Marrakech.
The goal for having “A Day Without Cars” is to reduce the environmental impact and reduce air pollution from cars in Marrakech (reduce Green House Gasses (GHG) that enter the atmosphere) .One also of Marawid’s many goals is to have the city of Marrakech support and implement a sustainable transportation plan. However, there are multiple benefits from cycling. Bicycling supports the economy and has health and environmental benefits. These benefits are provided while saving space because bikes take up a fraction of the space that cars and trucks require. Marrakech has optimal riding conditions, as the summers are warm, the winter months are mild and the terrain is completely flat.
Marawid also brings attention to the tools that can help the city of Marrakech incorporate a bike friendly environment. These tools consist of having bike lanes, access to bike rentals, safer riding conditions and more areas to secure bikes around the city. Some of these steps call for major infrastructure changes, while others have less of an impact but still provide major benefits. Bike lanes may have the most impact on the infrastructure due to the need to have bike lanes connect common places that are traveled to daily (Bautz, 2011).
Marawid is leading the movement to show the need for a more sustainable transportation system, but the demand for change should come from the people of Marrakech. There is clear momentum and interest from the people that are willing to pedal for sustainable transportation
Mawarid provides participants with affordable bicycles and "A Day Without Cars 2015" t-shirts for sale at a nominal fee at the start of the bicycle tour. The goal of the event is to encourage everyone, including those without bicycles to participate and support the association’s various environmental activities.
All bicycle rental revenues and t-shirt sales will be used to sustain local associations and strengthen Mawarid’s environmental commitment and activities.