Nine young designers have been named winners of a national competition and will now see their creations turned into collectable badges for thousands of pupils nationwide to earn when they walk to school.
The WOW Badge Design Competition is organised by Living Streets, the charity behind the national walk to school campaign. Over 90,000 primary school pupils nationwide entered the competition, with nine winners being chosen by a panel of experts from Design Council: Tim Gill, Pamela Carbajal and Louise Wyman.
This year’s badge competition theme was ‘Walk for the World’, with pupils asked to consider the contribution that traffic pollution makes to carbon emissions and to research and draw wildlife or a natural habitat affected by climate change. Winning designs include an orangutan, polar bear, toucan and an American Pika.
The winning designs will now be turned into more than 300,000 badges to be awarded to pupils taking part in WOW – the walk to school challenge from Living Streets.
WOW sees pupils who walk, cycle, scoot or Park and Stride to school at least once a week for a month rewarded with the recyclable badges each month. On average, schools taking part in WOW experience a 30 per cent reduction in cars at the school gates and a 23 per cent increase in children walking to school.
The first of the winning designs will be awarded in November 2021 to coincide with the start of COP26 in Glasgow.
Stephen Edwards, Interim CEO, Living Streets said:
“WOW is a great way to help keep children healthy and happy by encouraging them to be active every day. More children walking to school also means fewer cars around the school gates - making them safer and cleaner places.
“We hope this set of WOW badges will help pupils understand that by walking to school they are playing their part in fighting climate change - protecting wildlife and natural habitats for the future.”
Tim Gill, Design Council Ambassador and panel judge said:
“We were astounded both by the quality and diversity of designs for this important competition. Judging them provided a powerful reminder that, when added together, our everyday travel choices can play a big part in reducing pollution, safeguarding natural habitats and helping wildlife around the world survive and thrive.
“We can all help to make positive changes if we do things differently, like using alternative ways of travelling to school. Just think of the impact that will have. The striking designs of these recyclable badges are sure to attract attention and encourage children their parents to think twice about hopping in the car – and consider the benefits of walking, cycling or scooting instead.”
Tim is a global advocate for children’s outdoor play and mobility, and an independent scholar, writer and consultant. A former director of the Children’s Play Council (now Play England), Tim went freelance in 2004 and has been a Design Council Built Environment Expert since 2007.
In 2017 Tim was awarded a travelling fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to study child-friendly urban planning in Canada and Europe. He holds degrees from Oxford and London Universities, and an honorary doctorate from Edge Hill University, and is honorary patron of the Forest School Association. Tim writes for the mainstream media, trade and academic publications, and appears regularly on radio and television. His website is www.rethinkingchildhood.com.
Pamela is an architect from the University of Technology of Monterrey, Mexico. She joined UN-Habitat in 2018, working on integrating health in Urban and Territorial Planning (UTP) coordinating the programme, delivering technical advisory to practitioners, local and national government and worked with key global partners. She has supported Bolivia, Argentina, and Mexico on their National and Subnational Urban Policies development and worked on advancing UTP processes through capacity building internationally.
At the city level, she works with the Global Public Space Programme at UN-Habitat and partners on citywide public spaces strategies for different cities in Latin America. Pamela particularly focuses on building healthy environments. She collaborated with the WHO on developing a sourcebook on integrating health in UTP and a compendium of inspiring practices.
Louise is Interim Director of Place at Design Council. She oversees the organisation’s work to create better and more resilient places, giving strategic and detailed design guidance to clients on subject areas including health and wellbeing, sustainable living and future-proofing development.
Before joining Design Council, Louise was Strategic Director of Growth & Development at Manchester City Council, overseeing investment and development across Manchester. Louise is a member of the National Infrastructure Commission Design Group, which exists to inspire, promote and champion design excellence in all nationally significant projects.