“Better to school” is a comprehensive service which bundles all consulting activities of the Hessian Centre of Competence for Mobility Management for Children.
“Better to school” is the umbrella brand for all Hessian activities focusing mobility at schools as a target group. It bundles several offers for schools, municipalities and politicians. Heart piece is the Competence Centre of School Mobility operated by the ivm GmbH, which offers consulting services to support municipalities, schools and public authorities to improve their mobility situation. The aim is to influence the mobility of children and young people in a positive way. The entire process is embedded in a diverse offer of coordinated modules. The Competence Centre offers more than just advisory services. Among other things, the school cycling competition and the school cycle route planner are integrated into the overall process.
The program in general helps implementing and establishing measures which improve the mobility situation for schools and pupils. Furthermore, school mobility plans should be developed and implemented. The school mobility plans are comprehensive mobility concepts for school sites and municipalities. They are dealing with all activities, responsibilities and processes related to traffic, mobility and their improvement. The elaboration of the school mobility plans is structured by several working phases which are elaborated with all important local stakeholders. Starting with the analysis of the current situation to the presentation of the concept, schools and authorities are participating during the whole process.
The consulting services for schools and municipalities provided by the Competence Centre are free of charge and provided by the state. Is a “school mobility plan” needed the costs depend on the level of involvement of further planning offices and on the scale of the plan.
Evidence of success
There are several examples of success. Right now, eighteen municipalities (by German law villages, cities and counties all are municipalities) are attending in multiple way the “better to school” program. Furthermore, more than fifty schools have been counselled and qualified on their mobility situation.
In addition to the necessary prerequisites for successful implementation, one challenge is the dissemination of the offer in the area. For a comprehensive picture, which also achieves the necessary political scope, it is important that the offer and mobility plans are not limited to one location.
Potential for learning or transfer
In principle, the applicability and transferability to other regions are positively. Depending on the political will to shape such processes, enough financial support must be ensured from a higher political level to make programmes such as "Better to School" attractive for municipalities and schools. The fact that schools and municipalities usually do not have a budget for mobility plans of this kind, show that an attractive framework is essential for the success of campaigns like “Better to School”. It is important that organisational units such as the “IVM” that can implement such projects flexibly are present. Despite its good applicability, "Better to School" can be further developed and improved by other regions. They can learn from the numerous experiences in Hessen. Until now the tool has not been transferred to other regions.
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