Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores
I'm not a fan of cars. They're dangerous, they're crap for the environment and, as a pedestrian and sometimes cyclist, they really get in my way. So Pontevedra, the car-free town in Spain led by Mayor Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores (pictured below), sounds just about perfect for me.
Before Lores became mayor of the Galician city in 1999, 14,000 cars would cruise past the mayor's office window every day. His philosophy was simple: owning a car doesn’t give you the right to occupy the public space. Lores managed to pedestrianise the entire historical centre of his Pontevedra within a month.
The benefits of this extreme move soon became clear. CO2 emissions dropped 70%, nearly three-quarters of what were car journeys are now made on foot or by bicycle, and, while other towns in the region were shrinking, central Pontevedra gained 12,000 new inhabitants.
If you also think that Lores is 100% spot-on with his bold move, you can support him by skipping the cars and taking alternative transportation whenever possible.