Two years ago, an average neighborhood in the South Korean city of Suwon embarked on a radical experiment: For one month, the neighborhood suddenly got rid of every car.
Called the Ecomobility Festival, it was created as a way to help the city move much more quickly to a low-carbon future by helping citizens get a visceral sense of how that future could look.
"Usually in planning you do a computer simulation—an artificial picture of the future, and maybe a PowerPoint presentation," says Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, creative director at The Urban Idea, who helped mastermind the festival. "We're doing it in a different way: in a real city, with real people, in real time. It's like a piece of theater where the neighborhood is a stage."