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Work Group for Child Mobility of the Provincial Government of Granada

With the support of the CIVITAS Activity Fund, the Provincial Government of Granada held an exchange with the city of San Sebastian to learn from their Safe Routes to School programme. This led to the creation of the Work Group for Child Mobility of the Provincial Government of Granada.

Our main objective was to promote reflection and learning in the working group. The group was composed of technicians and political members of the city councils, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders of those municipalities interested in the implementation of the Safe Routes to School programme.

Thanks to the activities developed during the workshops of this group we have also managed to achieve the following specific objectives:
- Understanding and learning about initiatives to promote child and pedestrian mobility.
- Learning about how to overcome the potential problems and opportunities that might arise.
- Promotion of the local programmes to improve school accessibility through the non-motorised modes of transport discussed below.

All the activities were carried out within the province of Granada. In particular, workshops with the work group were held in the following municipalities, which finally participated in the programme: Peligros, Montejícar, Íllora, La Zubia, Guadix, Albolote, Benamaurel, and Ogíjares.

As mentioned above, technicians and politicians from different city councils, teachers, parents and other stakeholders (residents, associations and business owners among others) who could be interested in collaborating with local programmes of Safe Routes to School composed the target group of our programme. In order to coordinate them we designed and implemented the methodology of the work group.

The work group held nine workshops in the participating municipalities and at the Diputación (Provincial Government or Provincial Government of Granada from now on). During the workshops they were given a methodology based on the schema "research-action-participation", with the aim of guiding or providing the municipal technicians, and their political representatives, towards the model they choose, while always sharing basic principles and common guidelines aimed at finding achievable, responsible alternatives agreed by consensus by the whole province.

First, we asked the municipalities to sign a participation commitment (see Annex) establishing a maximum limit of 8 municipalities that could participate in the work group; this enabled the group to be operational. This objective was achieved and the expected deadlines were met. Then, every municipality selected their representatives for the work group, which could be anyone from the target group categories that we mentioned above. While the first workshop, which aimed to present the programme, was open to the public, from the second workshop on, a permanent representation of 15 people was required. All of the municipalities were then represented by a municipal technician or a political representative, or both.
The methodology based on "research-action-participation" consisted of a continued exercise of self-analysis; a search for contextualised and shared responses that provided both technical and social progress, and a pedagogical exercise in finding more responsible and equitable communities.

In each of the work group's workshops we shared a methodology that needed the use of some of these tools. We tried to ensure that each workshop coincided with one of the phases of the methodology. Also, we tried to hold the workshop at the municipality where the phase had to be applied. This way, we could support, share and evaluate the actions performed there.

Each municipality had, in turn, its own pace of implementation and had the opportunity to share with the rest of the work group any actions requiring support from the group, which could mean either support to execute them or to be privileged spectators of their implementation in order to later act as external evaluators.

Therefore, we can say that the programme has actually been shaped as a take-up activity, the beginning of the implementation has been promoted and the interest of the municipalities to continue on this path has been consolidated.

The objective of this technical visit was to get to know in depth the Safe Routes to School programme being carried out in the city of San Sebastián at the request of their city council. Another objective was to exchange experiences between institutions, to learn about their keys to success, and to study what criteria need to be followed when implementing a programme with these characteristics.

Over these two days and with the help of volunteers we visited several initiatives and saw tools being used in different schools to improve student accessibility to schools -such as walking school buses or cycling school buses among others- with the help of volunteers, both parents and teachers. We also saw the methodology and strategies employed to organise and initiate a school mobility programme.

At the end of the technical visit we worked in small groups to identify variables that could help us carry out, with success, a school route experience.

In the course of the programme we prepared dissemination material to begin a communication and awareness campaign directed both to families of the participating schools and to the whole community. The objective was to raise awareness of the need for more sustainable mobility among students, parents and the public in general. The campaign was held during the months of May and July 2015, experiencing a delay to what was initially planned. We prepared and distributed 100 posters, 125 stickers, 100 leaflets, and 2 adhesive vinyls (see Annex) to each of the 8 participating municipalities. In total 800 posters, 1,000 stickers, 800 leaflets and 16 vinyls were used to promote the programme.

In most of the cases, we decided to stick those vinyls on the municipality bus stops, which are in public ownership, or on the school doors. These places fulfilled the same function as the buses since the same target audience was to be found there: families and residents.

All activities, such as technical conferences, workshops, etc., were announced on the website of the Network GRAMAS ( and at the Provincial Government and their respective social networks.

Finally, as we have already mentioned, all of the participating municipalities and their respective technicians and politicians, have decided, in one way or another, to take advantage of the knowledge and skills learned and have launched a local Safe Routes to School programme. Therefore, in a year's time we will be able to obtain benefits which will allow us to move forward to new objectives such as: The promotion of schoolchildren's autonomy, improvement of traffic conditions in school surroundings, and the development of a new city model focused on safety and on the sustainable use of public spaces.

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