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IN PHOTOS: Copenhagen holds car-free day

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IN PHOTOS: Copenhagen holds car-free day
Dronning Louises Bro was a hub of car-free action on Sunday. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
09:34 CEST+02:00
Copenhagen's first car-free day since the 1970s brought over of runners and merrymakers to the city's streets.
The car-free day began with the Copenhagen Half Marathon, where roughly 22,000 runners pounded the pavement for 21.0975 kilometres on a course that began at Fælledparken in Østerbro and wound its way through Nørrebro, Frederiksberg and the inner city. 
 
The half marathon kicked off at Fælledparken. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
The half marathon kicked off at Fælledparken. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix 
 
Runners reach Trianglen in Østerbro. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Runners reach Trianglen in Østerbro. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
The race was won by James Mwangi Wangari of Kenya who set a course record with a time of 59:07. The women's winner was Hiwot Gabrekidan Gabremayam of Ethiopia, who finished at 1:08:00. 
 
Men's winner James Mwangi Wangari set a course record. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Men's winner James Mwangi Wangari set a course record. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
Women's winner was Hiwot Gabrekidan Gabremayam. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Women's winner Hiwot Gabrekidan Gabremayam. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
Runners give it all they've got as they approach the finish line. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Runners give it all they've got as they approach the finish line. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
Finishing the race is no small feat - congrats to all of the runners! Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Finishing the race is no small feat - congrats to all of the runners! Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
Following the conclusion of the race, large swathes of the city remained closed to vehicle traffic until 9pm. Closed roads included Østerbrogade, Dag Hammarskjölds Allé, Strandboulevarden, Nørrebrogade and Dronning Louises Bridge, Enghavevej and Ingerslevsgade.
 
Copenhageners took advantage of the absence of traffic by pulling their furniture out into the middle of the streets, beautifying the asphalt with chalk and taking part in a number of both planned and impromptu games and activities. 
 
These guys brought their sofa to the middle of Nørrebrogade. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
These guys brought their sofa to the middle of Nørrebrogade. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
A bit of Ultimate Frisbee on Østerbrogade. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
A bit of Ultimate Frisbee on Østerbrogade. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
Why not grill your dinner in the middle of the street? Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Why not grill your dinner in the middle of the street? Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
Wheelchair racing along Østerbrogade. Photo: Nikolia Linares/Scanpix
Wheelchair racing along Østerbrogade. Photo: Nikolia Linares/Scanpix
 
Chalk drawing on Dronning Louises Bro. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
Chalk drawing on Dronning Louises Bro. Photo: Nikolai Linares/Scanpix
 
City officials announced plans for the car-free day last year following the success of similar events in cities including Paris and Stockholm.
 
Deputy mayor Morten Kabell said at the time that not only would the event create life in the city's streets, it would cut emissions levels by as much as 40 percent compared to normal daily levels.
 
Despite its "unrivalled" status as the world's best city for cyclists, air pollution in Copenhagen has exceeded the EU's allowed levels for years
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