The events range from mass bike rides, to road closures, to community speed watches. The Clean Cities Campaign (CCC) is expecting over 500 events (1) to take place before mid-May. The first event was in Brussels where children demonstrated outside 16 schools; in Germany there will be more than 50 events and in Spain more than 70.
A new representative poll of more than 1,000 Italian schoolchildren commissioned by CCC to international pollster YouGov, found that 88% said they would like School Streets outside their schools. However, only 7% of the Italian children said they currently have one (2). Half of the children (50%) said they would be keen to walk, cycle or scoot to school. When asked why they think children in Italy don’t walk or cycle to school more often, 48% said it was because it is too dangerous.
In October 2022, hundreds of children took to the streets in over 140 locations across Europe. As a result, over 150 promises of school streets were made, especially in Italy, but to date only a handful have materialised (in cities such as Cologne, Paris, Milan and a number of other Italian cities).
12 year-old Leandro Comune is a student from Sant’Arpino in Italy, where a School Street was recently implemented. He says, “In my opinion it was a huge accomplishment for the school. It has never happened in our area that school roads were closed, we were among the first schools to do this, and so I’m really overjoyed”.
Anna Becchi, Clean Cities Campaign schools co-ordinator says, “Why should this generation of children be sacrificed to toxic air and the danger of a road traffic collision? We know School Streets can transform the spaces around school and help families make different choices about how to get to school. It’s time we saw action on delivering them.”
Celeste Hicks (EN / FR)
Communications and Media Manager, Clean Cities Campaign