The children, aged 10 to 15, are from 5th Class, Scoil Eoin, Kilbarrack, Dublin 5 and 3rd Year, Loreto College Crumlin, Dublin 12 and were asked to create solutions to cycling barriers on their school route and to Trinity College.
They presented their ideas to the Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy and other decisions makers, city engineers and change makers in Dublin City Hall Council Chamber.
The Lord Mayor said, “I’m delighted to be here today to listen to the young people who are presenting their ideas to increase uptake of cycling in Dublin City. I cycle myself and I welcome these ideas to make cycling safer and more enjoyable in our city and communities.”
The Bicycle Heroes: BYCS Youth Voices for Active Mobility project is supported by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, a body of the European Union.
Councillor Donna Cooney, project manager of the Dublin Bicycle Heroes Project said, “I’m so excited about coordinating the first BYCS Bicycle Heroes project in Dublin with partners Dublin City Council and Trinity College. We worked with groups of children aged 10 to 15 years, to give them the tools to enable them to reimagine their city space to meet their needs. Children are now empowered by designing, exhibiting and presenting to transport engineers, planners and decision makers to influence the design of Dublin City spaces for their own future active transport needs.”
The programme has been piloted by coordinating organisation BYCS over the last five years in the Netherlands. BYCS is an Amsterdam-based global NGO supporting community-led urban change through cycling.
Martina Mullin, Trinity College said, “Trinity is pleased to see so many clever and innovative ideas from the children for travelling from their school to our campus. Trinity has 1% car use. We’re delighted to see children question how public space in Dublin can be allocated to support health, biodiversity and the climate.”
Nearly ten thousand children have taken part in the initial awareness and problem-solving phase of the program across the EU.
Niamh Ni Cholmain, from the school mobility program Dublin City Council said, “this project has helped Dublin City Council to get ideas from students on the design, development and evaluation of their School Zones and Safe Routes to School treatments. Children who become Bicycle Heroes in School Zones promote safer and more respectful driver behaviour within their families and communities.”
Source: Dublin City Council