The women's cycling course in Zurich ended last week. Last year the Metamorphosis project tried to organize a bicycle trip for families. It turned out that in this specific neighborhood not all parents ride bicycles. The course now enables mothers to take their children on bike trips. Let's ride then!
A high amount of street space is dedicated to motorised traffic, making it inaccessible to children. Currently, for children to be allowed to use a parking space for playing, it would be necessary to do that in a parked car!
Many urban spaces are planned for the convenience of large cars forcing cyclists and pedestrians to squeeze together on the edges of road. It makes no sense to most people, except for the one holding the power of overkill.
Today, most of the streets in Munich are mainly designed for motorized vehicles. This has led to a high percentage of concrete space for cars and go-through-traffic at the expense of green space for recreational usage.
To address this issue and to show alternatives, a greening project was established in the city of Munich, called “Wanderbaumallee” (literally “Alley of walking Trees”). In the past, such projects were already implemented with very positive results, such as trees that were actually planted and remain permanently in the city.
From 4th to 24th June 2018 the bike to school competition "Münchner Schulradeln" was held in Munich for the first time. In the three-week campaign period 4th graders and secondary school students were encouraged to cycle actively to school instead of being brought by car. Students, teachers and parents competed together as a team for their school against the other schools. Each team nominated a team captain. The aim was to cycle as many kilometers as possible. Therefore, all kilometers cycled were listed online or via app.
On busy roads today, children hardly have the opportunity to play safely and independently outside. To raise awareness of this situation, two road sections were closed to traffic in July and October 2018. During the closing, the streets could be recaptured by children and their parents for a few hours to romp, paint with chalk, do a scooter course or just to linger in a deckchair.
Most children walk alone for the first time when they go to school. For this reason, primary school children were encouraged to come to school in an environmentally friendly and healthy manner within the "school hero" competition. During the two-week campaign period, they were allowed to put every day a sticker onto a poster depicting a bare tree. A green sticker if they had come to school on foot or by scooter, a yellow one for the use of bus, train or tram and a red one if their parents had brought them by car.
On 7 December METAMORPHOSIS became the topic of the “Forschungsforum Mobilität für alle”, an international conference in Vienna successfully joined by about 170 mobility experts, policy makers, urban planners and researchers. The conference gathered experts on how to transform cities in a child-friendly and barrier-free way, with evidences and best practices by the mobility departments of Zurich, Merano and Vienna. The latter gave interesting insights about the results of the METAMORPHOSIS implementations in the three cities as co-creative solutions for more liveable neighbourhoods.