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Kids lead the way

A graphic of a person with a pushchair and a small child

Living Streets is part of the Clean Cities network and how we're supporting their #StreetsForKids campaign which aims to multiply the number of School Streets across Europe.  

Central to our work with Local Groups is calling for child-friendly streets to reduce air pollution and increase safety. This National Walking Month, our Engagement Manager, Aisha Hannibal tells us how three Living Streets Local Groups are leading the way and celebrating the fun and freedom of reclaiming streets for children.

Aisha Hannibal headshot


Our Greenbank Bristol Living Streets Group focuses on raising awareness about air pollution by creating play streets across the area. They encourage residents to move parked cars to create an entirely car-free street for the afternoon to enable children to play, scoot and cycle with others in the neighbouring streets. 

Zoe, who coordinates the group, has engaged with different communities in Greenbank to build a network of local play streets, which means that every weekend there is somewhere safe locally for the children in Greenbank to play.

This month they celebrate their Play Street on Sunday 21 May in collaboration with organisations across Europe for Streets For Kids. Through Zoe’s hard work , Greenbank was the perfect spot to launch Bristol’s first School Street, closing the street to motor traffic around a local primary school at drop off and pick up times. She reflects on how it came about.   

“The timing was key. I’d raised it a few times, but after lockdown the issues around congestion and crowding on the pavements became really obvious. When a new Head came to the local school, it was a great opportunity to raise the idea of a School Street again. This time the conversations with the Council, councillors, other parents and the school leadership team meant we were well aligned in wanting a safer and healthier start and end to the school day. 

As the school is right next to the Bristol to Bath cycle route, it’s really made walking and wheeling to school a convenient and attractive option for many of our families. As my daughter is now at secondary school, I want to find out how we can do more to help our older children get to school safely -and actively- by themselves. Watch this space!”

Children on a play street
A lego character


Our Richmond Living Streets Group highlighted that young people’s voices were missing from the local authority’s local transport plans. They wanted to capture a broad perspective of voices to feed into the decisions being made.

Through a series of events they engaged with local children and young people, inviting them to design their ideal streets using Lego. The Group are using their findings to raise awareness and build support for the new School Streets programme their local Council are implementing to make walking and wheeling to school safer.   


Our Darnley Local Group work alongside the local primary school and Living Streets Scotland to maximise the impact of WOW - our walk to school challenge through a parent-led Park and Strike scheme.

They have reduced congestion around the school gates at peak times by asking parents and carers who drive to school to park in a local supermarket carpark and walk a little further to the gates each day.

By doing so, they have reduced localised air pollution, which benefits the whole school community and given more of the children the chance to enjoy walking with friends to school.

A child's poster reads 'No pollution'.


It is thanks to funding from the European Climate Foundation that we are able to support the growth of Local Groups working to create child-friendly streets.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can improve air quality in your community and call for child-friendly streets where you live, visit our Local Groups page to find out more about joining a Group or starting one in your community. 

About the author

Aisha Hannibal

Engagement Manager, Living Streets