Streets should be child-friendly, don’t you think? I certainly think so, and so does Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity based in the United Kingdom. Sustrans has launched a competition for primary and secondary school children (7- to 14-year-olds) that has them designing their “dream streets.” “The competition will be open until October 31 and the entrants will be critiqued by Wayne Hemingway, Sustrans’ patron and co-founder of Hemingway Design, an urban redevelopment agency; Alan Pendlewood, CEO of Pendlewood, the manufacturer that will provide the competition winner with eco-designed outdoor furniture; and Alex Allen, the director of Sustrans’ Liveable Neighbourhoods projects,” TheCityFix reports. More information is available at Sustrans and an entry sheet can be downloaded today. What do you think children would like to see on streets? What do you think they would put in place to make them safer and more kid-friendly? I’m very curious to find out. If you have a kid, have you ever gone through such an exercise with them? Have anything to share? Here the response of one early entrant, 9-year-old Danny Conway of Bristol: “If I could redesign my street I would create more space for children with fewer cars,” he said. “We would have a bigger space to run around in and make it brighter so that everyone feels happier.”
Why We Should Think about & Get Feedback from Kids More When Designing Streets
Want some more practical reasons for why children should be involved more in the street design process? How’s this:
According to the Guardian, more than 1,100 London schools are near roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day, which could be responsible for up to 30 percent of all new cases of asthma in children. Worldwide, children and young people are the most at risk on the road: Road traffic crashes are the number one cause of death among people aged 10-24 years.
Perhaps if we thought about and listened to our youngsters more, we would have such an issue. Related Stories on EcoLocalizer:
- 10 Most Walkable Cities in World? [SLIDESHOW]
- Happiest City in U.S.? (No Cars on Main Street, No Fast Food, No Smoking, Bike Valet)
- SF’s Western Addition Celebrates Sunday Streets
- Sunday Streets Takes Over the Mission
- Livable Streets are without Car Traffic: Where Did the U.S. Go Wrong?