Thousands of children join #StreetsforKids in 140 actions across Europe
The second Action Day for the Streets for Kids campaign took place on October 21, 2022. The campaign which, Clean Mobility Collective partner organisation Clean Cities Campaign was instrumental in rolling out across Europe, focuses on closing streets and roads around and in front of schools, leading to safer roads and cleaner air. The campaign also encourages families to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to school.
Why is this such an important issue?
Polluted, dirty air is still one of the biggest killers. 300,000 premature deaths a year occur in Europe due to toxic air as well as a wide range of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections. It’s one of the key issues Europeans want their elected representatives to tackle. More than two in three Europeans thinking that the European Union should be doing far more to address air quality-related problems.
What is the impact?
The School Streets campaign has proved to be an effective measure in reducing air pollution and improving safety in the immediate vicinity of schools. A London study showed how school streets reduced nitrogen dioxide levels by up to 23%, and that parents reported driving to school 18% less following the introduction of a school street. Another study in Oxford showed a 36% drop in PM2.5 concentrations.
On October 21st hundreds of kids around Europe took to their bikes or walked to school rather than use a car. Walking or cycling to school is considered an easy way of building more physical activity in children. It can boost energy, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
The campaign encourages parents to contact and write to their Mayor and demand more is done to tackle issues around air pollution including:
- Implementing permanent school streets that are closed to traffic and
- Improving air quality and safety for children.
To do more to incentivise walking and cycling to schools while acknowledging schools that are introducing these measures.
In 2023, the campaign will return, adding more schools and communities. You can find out more about the campaign and how to get involved by clicking here.