Over the last three years, Metamorphosis has been initiating activities for child-friendly public spaces and sustainable mobility all over Europe.
A wide range of different topics and creative ideas came out during the project, which is one of the four current CIVITAS neighbourhood planning projects. Now, overviews of these have been catalogued in a series of fact sheets available here.
The fact sheets go beyond a simple project description by giving information about required human or financial resources. Besides inspiration, they also provide instructions for the planning process and help future replicators with a critical evaluation and useful recommendations. Check them out!
Below you can preview the variety of Metamorphosis measures in the seven partner cities.
In a school in Tilburg (the Netherlands), children decorated several ‘travelling christmas trees’ and placed them in strategic places near the school to create awareness of the space that cars occupy. The children considered the best possible places to put the trees in order to reuse the space in a different, more child-friendly way.
In Alba Iulia (Romania), one measure involved getting into discussions with passers-by to talk about the Metamorphosis project goals. A public breakfast took place in collaboration with a coffee shop that was located on a main route used by parents who take their children to school on foot.
Due to the much more complex environments in our cities, children need bicycle training to be safe on the road. In Graz, Austria, bicycle training is held that gives many children their first taste of riding in real traffic situations.
Through a vision-building workshop in Merano (Italy), children in the neighbourhood devised the idea to install a skate ramp for beginners on a market square in order to deter cars. They built the skate ramp themselves in a workshop, and it was installed on the square for ten weeks before being moved to a nearby school.
In Munich (Germany), 15 ‘mobile trees’ on skateboards were located in an asphalt-dominated area for several weeks, which helped to increase the quality of the local environment. The installation of these walking trees was accompanied by a grand entry parade.
In two neighbourhoods of Zurich (Switzerland), a street was temporarily closed to motorised traffic in order to celebrate a street festival. During these afternoon closures, various activities took place on the streets, including a concert and a handicraft workshop for children.
In many streets in Southampton (United Kingdom), safety issues arise due to parents parking as close as possible to the school when dropping off their kids. The city organised workshops with local residents and pupils, teachers and parents to review the issues and opportunities on several streets. They then co-designed interventions to make streets more child-friendly and to encourage active journeys to school.
Find out more about the project on its website.
Author: Richard Adams