Initiative to encourage autonomous and sustainable mobility of school children from 8 years old.
Parents or other relatives drive children by car provoking congestions, poor air quality, noisy schools’ environment and children’s sedentary lifestyle, and it causes a decrease of safety. Therefore, there is the need to change mobility behaviour of children and their parents, acquire habits on sustainable mobility that will continue as adults, safer streets, healthier children, better air quality, less noise, less congestion, better children’s psychological and psychosocial development. This methodology is targeted to mainly children aged 8-12 years; secondly their parents, tutors and the rest of school community. In order to consolidate sustainable mobility habits there are two key factors necessary. Firstly, to test new behaviour (e.g.: go to school on foot, bike or by bus) and make positive experience. Secondly, to confirm this new behaviour as a habit by understanding the benefits of sustainable mobility from yourself and for the others. Four steps are required to develop this methodology. Firstly, the initiative. It can be from Parents’ associations/School or municipalities (SUMPS). There is a first meeting with the municipality, the school management team and parents school association. Then, a safe routes project that includes an evaluation/diagnosis (how children go/return to school and families’ opinion about the routes and different transport modes), as well as proposals on infrastructures, education and communication. And finally the implementation and evaluation.
1. To perfom safe routes to school project (3,000€ or more).
2. For hard and soft measures in school path.
3. Municipality: staff to lead, implement follow-up mesures, results evaluation and run communication campaigns.
4. School Associations.
Evidence of success
A mesurable output is the increase mobility on foot, bike or bus in schools. In the case of Girona, there are 6 safe routes to schools done and two that are in process.
Thanks to the safe routes to school, there is a closer relationship between the municipality and the schools, within the municipality (interdepertmental sharing) and within the school.
To overcome a lack of budget it has been necessary to include safe routes to schools in the SUMPs.
Lack of infrastructure that promotes sustainable mobility in terms of cycling and walking.
To get to know the timeframes for each step so that it can be planned with time enough.
Potential for learning or transfer
There is big potential for transfering this activity to other areas and countries due to the fact that the frame conditions are the same, everywhere in Europe: steadily growing use of cars, steadily growing (or even high) degree of motorisation, tendency to a very passive-style of living especially among kids and a more increase of perceived dangerous trips to school ba parents.
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