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Torreño City Council joins the initiative to create safe and healthy school environments for children (10/09/2019)

"We want to turn school environments into areas of child health protection."

This is expressed by the mayor of Las Torres de Cotillas, Joaquín Vela Fernández, whose City Council will join the initiative of the Mobility and Childhood Seminar (www.entornoescolares.es), which works with the support of the National Center for Environmental Education (CENEAM ) dependent on the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

A proposal that aims to recover the surroundings of the educational centers so that schoolchildren can enjoy active, safe and autonomous mobility, "as they did decades ago."

"The goal is for children to resume the habit of walking to school and using the streets for the game, without the accompaniment of adults, something that not long ago in our country they did both in towns and cities," he says. Mayor Torreño.

"Healthy habits that the urban model has made fall into disuse," says Vela Fernández, who recalls that mobility in private vehicles is currently prioritized to schools due to factors such as insecurity, road unruly, child exposure to air and noise pollution, etc.

Work in various fields

This adhesion - which collaterally aims to combat childhood obesity - entails taking measures in different areas, starting with the facilities of the schools.

In them it is proposed to replace the parking areas with residential and play areas, as well as the reservation of a safe space for the parking of bicycles, skates and scooters to encourage active mobility to the center.

"It is also considered revegeting the patios with trees and plants that provide shade, freshness and color, improve air quality and dampen noise," says Vela Fernández.

The surroundings and access to the centers are other areas where work will also be done, for example, limiting parking and traffic in its surroundings and at the entrances.

In addition, two other aspects will be worked on: the reinforcement of compliance with road regulations so that the school environment is a safe and convivial space;

and the prioritization of pedestrian and cycling mobility, creating car-free access corridors, promoting the presence of vegetation and water, and promoting residential, meeting and play areas in the public space.

Management Changes

Another of the lines of work will be at the level of the management of the local administration in three directions: on the one hand, it is intended to integrate into the General Plan of Municipal Urban Planning (PGMOU) a series of measures to promote these safe school environments and healthy;

on the other, to incorporate into the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (PMUS) specific measures to limit and pacify traffic in school settings;

and, finally, to promote a generalized shift towards the "City 30" model to reduce the speed of traffic throughout the urban road.

"It will also advocate prioritizing the proximity to the school as a basic criterion of the school area, for the benefit of children and the entire community, reversing the implementation of the single school zone that favors the increase in daily motorized journeys," says the First mayor.

Source: Ayuntamiento de Las Torres de Cotillas

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