How can we give our children the best opportunities in life?
Yarra’s streets can be better for children if they can safely walk or cycle to school, sport, the library or their friends houses. All it takes is some street space:
Many parents don’t let their children walk or cycle alone
Many parents don’t think our streets are safe enough for children to walk or ride to school alone.
Stop killing our children
A successful city for children is one where our kids don’t get killed just for walking or cycling to school by themselves:
Children deserve freedom of mobility
Children and youth deserve the ability to move safely, conveniently and enjoyably around Yarra. Being able to get around enables children to maintain independence and agency, supporting health, happiness and mental development.
There are dozens of reasons why walking is good for children. Walking keeps them fit and active, helps them learn about road safety and prepares them for independence. It shows them that the world is an interesting place, and gives them the chance to watch their own neighbourhoods change with the seasons. It keeps them connected with other people who live nearby – older people and other children.Victoria Walks – Walking with Children
New research reports children who have freedom to move from A to B by themselves – rather than depending on adults to take them places – experience improved wellbeing.Dr Lisa Gibbs, Director of the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne
Research from Dr Lisa Gibbs is available at:
- The Conversation – Ditch the cotton wool and let kids travel independently
- Children’s interdependent mobility: compositions, collaborations and compromises
The solution is to deliver integrated networks of safe travel infrastructure throughout Yarra, enabling children to walk, cycle or use public transport between home, school, sport and friends. Key elements include:
Yarra’s 0-25 Years Plan
Yarra has an 0-25 Years Plan with a Strategic Priority for child and family friendly environments for walking and cycling:
However, the Plan 2018-2022 and Action Plan 2018-2019 only aim to ‘promote’, ‘advocate’, ‘encourage’ or ‘seek’ infrastructure improvements, instead actually building them. This isn’t good enough.
Learn more from this collection of design guides, including the ARUP guide to child-friendly cities: