The central city of Hoi An on Sept. 9 launched its first Car Free Day campaign, coinciding with its annual Nature Day in which over 5,000 people participated.

The ancient city was the first city in Vietnam to host a Car Free Day in an effort to make the environment in the tourism hub cleaner.

Participants rode on bicycles and pedicabs around the city's old quarter to raise awareness about environmental protection among local people and tourists.

"The campaign shows how committed local people are to environmental protection. The city has successfully organised a pedestrian street in the old quarter since 2002 and hosted the Nature Day for the past three years," said Hoi An City's People's Committee Deputy Chairman Nguyen Van Dung.

"We are honoured to be the first city in Viet Nam to join the Asian network of Car Free Day programmes. We also hope that the campaign will encourage people to use more environmentally friendly vehicles like bicycles and battery-powered bicycles and to walk more," Dung said.

The Car Free Day, which was debuted in La Rosshelle in France in 1997, has attracted the participation of 2,268 cities in 40 countries.

The city also set up 13 sites where people can change used nylon bags for new reusable bags in an action to say no to plastic bags.

A painting contest for children was held at An Hoi bridge as part of the response to Car Free Day.-VNA