Alternative Warsaw – New School Street
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
Design and order foundation, Warszawa, Poland
Warsaw Smog Alarm, Warszawa, Poland
04-10-2021 - 30-11-2022
Project cost:
57 191,00 EUR
46 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
social actions and campaigns, educational activities, information activities, advocacy activities, factchecking
Target groups:
children, youth, teachers, local government

According to the data from the Police Headquarters in 2019, 41 children aged 0-6 and 727 children aged 7-14 were hit by cars. Car traffic is often a threat to children while playing near schools or on their way to school. In our efforts to address this issue, we focused on Warsaw, where we operate daily. We observed that there were slow and insufficient changes in pedestrian safety and alternatives to car traffic in the city.

We began our actions by initiating a citizen debate on children in the city, their needs, and their rights related to safety. We invited parents, children, school representatives, and city officials to participate in this debate. We then recruited five schools willing to participate in the project and initiated project groups that created prototypes for changing the school environment. These project groups included parents, school administrators, teachers, school alumni, and local community organizations. We conducted workshops for these groups on project development and mediation, as well as engaging in discussions with the local community. Each group prepared a project that we implemented as a pilot. First, we consulted it with the residents of the street that hosts the school in question, and then we conducted evaluative research. Based on these actions, we created a model of collaboration and best practices around school streets. We also conducted a social campaign on various forms of transportation and their ecological consequences. Additionally, we engaged in discussions with city authorities about making permanent changes to school streets to make them safer.

Our first partner was the Foundation for Design and Order, which supported us with their knowledge of creating pedestrian-friendly public spaces. Our second partner was the Warsaw Smog Alert, which helped us with promotion due to their involvement in grassroots movements for clean air.

From the evaluative research, we know that the project participants increased their knowledge in areas related to health, ecology, daily transportation choices, social participation, mediation, and local activism. Furthermore, they received training in designing sustainable urban spaces, which will encourage them to be more involved in the design and organization of street improvements.

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