AT 6am on a sweltering Sunday the centre of Gurgaon, a city in northern India, is abuzz. Children queue for free bicycles to ride on a 4km stretch of road that will be cordoned off from traffic for the next five hours. Teenagers pedal about, taking selfies; middle-aged men and women jog by. On a stage, a black-belt demonstrates karate; yoga practice is on a quieter patch down the street. Weaving through the crowd dispensing road-safety tips is a traffic cop with a majestic moustache.
Gurgaon’s weekly jamboree is called Raahgiri (“reclaim your streets”). Amit Bhatt of EMBARQ, a green think-tank, started it in 2013, inspired by Bogotá’s ciclovía, pictured above, for which Colombia’s capital closes 120km of streets on Sundays and holidays. Such events are part of a movement that is accelerating around the world.