Image by CIVINET Slo-Cro-SEE
CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE has been actively dedicated to working with young people for several years. It was the wish of the secretariat of the network to gather young people, primarily students, to think in teams about transport solutions to improve mobility and quality of life in local communities.
To do so, the CIVINET Secretariat, led by ODRAZ, gathered professors from several faculties (traffic, architecture, construction, sociology, geography, sustainable mobility and logistics), and together designed a set of workshops. The professors held lectures on a voluntary basis in various selected locations. In interdisciplinary teams, students studied locations, identified problems and proposed solutions to mobility challenges. The CIVINET Secretariat and the professors mentored the students' work, observing the different approaches of students based on their faculty, as well as how they came to common solutions. Given that their solutions were truly innovative, public presentations of the students' work were also organised.
After the success of the workshops held in recent years, it was decided to organize summer schools. The first one was organized in the coastal town of Šibenik in July 2022. Also in this case, interdisciplinary youth teams created excellent traffic and spatial solutions. This time, mechanical engineering and IT design students were also involved. There were 25 student total, who, with the help of mentors, analysed and proposed improved solutions for five selected topics in the Šibenik area.
The aim of this summer school was to provide young people with the opportunity to learn about planning spaces in urban areas and to work on concrete problems, which, according to the participants, was successfully achieved. The summer school started with introductory lectures on the superblock model, cycling infrastructure, cycling traffic and cyclotourism. Students could opt to follow one of the five following topics:
- Innovative management of urban traffic in the area of the Old Town and the coast
- Contribution to the development of the EuroVelo route and to the sustainable mobility of the city of Šibenik
- Integration of all types of public transport of the City of Šibenik
- Revitalization of the Šibenik general hospital surroundings
- Climate resilience and active mobility
In addition to working in teams, students had the opportunity to hear lectures on topics such as cycling develop, the use of hydrogen in urban transport and citizen engagement in creating mobility solutions. Students also had the opportunity to visit examples of good practice, particularly in regards to the revitalisation of public space.
On the final day of the summer course, the conference “Transport-Spatial Solutions for cities of the future” took place, which was open to a wider public. It represented an opportunity for the students' work to be presented. In their presentations, students emphasised the need to involve citizens in planning changes, so that the measures would be optimal and accepted. They also explained the possible benefits of proposed solutions for the city of Šibenik, which focused on improved quality of life of inhabitants, encouraging the use of urban public transport, reducing emissions, increasing road safety and cross-sectoral cooperation.
Given the success of the event, the CIVINET Slo-Cro-SEE will continue to work with young people in the future. Two events are already planned for 2023 - both a spring and a summer school of sustainable mobility.
Author: the Network for Sustainable Urban Mobility CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE