The City of Light has become the City of Smog.
For a brief period earlier this year, Paris was the most polluted city in the world, according to one ranking.
And now French authorities are doing something about it.
On Monday, French ecology minister Ségolène Royal announced that Paris will introduce an “alternate car ban” whenever pollution in the city spikes.
According to the expat newsite the Local, Royal said that “whenever the region and city authorities demand it,” the alternate car bans mean that only cars with either an odd or even number will be allowed to drive.
Paris has been experimenting with controling cars a bit. Royal had previously said that such bans would only happen after three days of high pollution, and Tech Insider reported on how the city had a car-free day in September.
Other car-choked cities around the world have made attempts at road-space rationing:
• Beijing famously introduced a even-and-odd licence plate ban in the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics. It’s since implemented bans in the wake of heavy-pollution days, though electric cars are exempt.
• Mexico City also only allows cars with certain licence plate numbers to drive on certain days, though research indicates that it’s prompted drivers to buy multiple cars, often of low quality, so they can drive on more days.
• Oslo recently became the first city to ban cars from its city center.
The French air quality watchdog group Airparif has found that Parisian smog has been so bad that walking outside is like standing in a room with eight smokers, so maybe with the bans, Parisians will be able to breathe easier. Though it could also come with some controversy.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.