Aim and objective
The aim of this project is to try different efforts to promote active school transport for children and investigate what efforts has the greatest effect on the target group.
Aspects that will need to be defined more precisely within the project are:
- What are the opportunities for cycling in the different target groups and how can we create equal opportunities for everyone to take part in society
- How to include children’s needs in traffic- and spatial planning
- How to create better opportunities for active schools transport, enabling children to safely transport themselves to school
- How to increase knowledge and motivation about sustainable mobility habits and common sense in traffic among children as well as their parents and employees at the schools
According to Agenda 2030 climate change is an urgent issue that we need to deal with through joint actions and we need to tackle them from multiple perspectives. In Sweden, as in many parts of the North Sea Region, the transport sector accounts for one third of the CO2-emissions – these have proven hard to diminish. The majority of the transport emissions come from commuting to and from work and leisure activities. Transportation is an area that requires great changes in how we behave and changing these patterns of behavior remains a challenge. It is important to that municipalities can assure preconditions for accessible and safe routes to and from schools. The habits of adults are created at an early age. Children that are used to activity and cycling is more likely to keep those habits as they grow older. It’s easier to change the behavior of adults from car to bicycle if they used to cycle when they were young
Swedish children are cycling less than a generation ago. The number of children between 7 and 14 years who cycle every day has reduced from 24 to 15 percent. In the age 15-24, the number decreased from 22 to 12 percent. In order to create sustainable mobility habits, there is a need for climate friendly and health promoting activities directed towards children.
Today, children are more likely to be overweight, and lack of daily activity contributes to the increased illness among young people. Pollution and poor air quality is also affecting the overall health and wellbeing of children in the long run. Increased physical activity has shown having positive effects on academic performance as well as improved mental and physical health. For instance, children who exercise frequently are less likely to experience depression and diseases linked to bone fragility. Teaching children to choose climate friendly, healthy transportation options might help them to make more sustainable choices as grown-ups.
The ability to cycle is also giving people increased access to the society and leisure activities. This is important from a socio-economic perspective. Different groups in society have different preconditions for transportation – some have access to cars and some do not. Access to a bicycle and knowledge about cycling can equalize these differences. Increased independent mobility through cycling is giving children the opportunity to take part in activities in neighboring areas, facilitating integration in society and access to new knowledge.