As part of the 2017 CIVITAS peer exchange programme, 6 cities from 6 different
countries visited Reggio Emilia (Italy) to learn about school mobility
management policies and measures implemented over the past 10 years.
Six cities, Krusevac (Serbia), Labin (Croatia), Leon (Spain), Sarajevo (Bosnia), Soissons (France) and Strängnäs (Sweden) travelled to Reggio Emilia for a two day study visit and discussed the participative approach to school mobility management policies and the school mobility managers network. They also learned about the Bicibus and Pedibus initiatives, temporary car-free zones and awareness raising campaigns for kindergartens.
Visiting cities appreciated the communication strategy implemented by the host city and the different tools used to inform its citizens. The city of Reggio Emilia also encourages children to learn the fundamentals of cycling at kindergarten, by offering balanced bikes and workshops.
The position of school mobility manager is compulsory by law in Italy and is chosen on a voluntary basis. It serves as a link between the municipality and the school (employees, parents and kids) as a way to improve mobility.
Besides the Pedibus (walking bus) and Bicibus (BikeTrain) initiatives that empower kids to go to school safely and autonomously, temporary car free areas are established in the surroundings areas of schools, in particular as children arrive and leave school to improve security and further promote active modes of transport.
Speaking at the peer learning visit adviser for energy efficiency and sustainable urban mobility for the city of Krusevac, Jelena Nikolic said, “All the measures that were presented during this study visit to Reggio Emilia can be implemented in my city. Not an easy task, but still possible”. Alina Akhmerova from the Soissons’ mayor's office also said, “Many solutions applied in Reggio Emilia are free or have a low cost and are still very effective. Of course, a lot of work with partners and citizens is necessary.”