Active Travel to School and Healthy Cities

Active Travel to School and Healthy Cities  programme aims to encourage active walking to school, promote the benefits of active mobility for the health, well-being and development of children and adults, and train stakeholders to plan a walking and health-friendly or healthy living environment.

The programme promotes active walking to school and raises awareness of the importance of active mobility for health and well-being. It highlights the contribution of walking to social equality and cohesion of the population and especially of groups that depend on walking (children, the elderly, parents and carers of young children, people with disabilities and other sensory and physical impairments). It highlights walking as a transport practice that contributes to increasing regular physical activity and to protecting the environment and mitigating climate change at the same time. The programme also disseminates knowledge on the design of walkable and health-friendly (walkable and healthy) and universally accessible living environments.

The programme addresses health problems in children and adults that stem from sedentary lifestyles and ‘obesogenic’ environments, and that can be addressed to the greatest extent by regular physical activity provided by active mobility – specifically walking. At the same time, the programme also highlights the environmental dimensions of active mobility and links the design of walking spaces with transport and urban planning of public space and with climate policy (mitigation and adaptation).

The programme’s activities link the health sector’s advocacy for daily physical activity with local actions to improve conditions for walking and active mobility, and increase understanding among different actors of the importance of walking as a transport practice, of accessibility and equity, and of the other multiple benefits of planning for a walking-friendly environment. The programme links community efforts for public health with those for sustainable mobility, social equity and sustainable spatial planning, and creates opportunities in practice to overcome sectoral boundaries and to create synergies between health, spatial planning and transport actions.

The programme pursues its objectives through three types of activities:

  • Supporting schools and municipalities in promoting active mobility on the way to school.
  • Practical training for spatial planners and municipalities on how to prepare a local walkability plan, presenting the process and tools for preparing a local walkability plan based on practical examples.
  • The production, presentation and dissemination of a handbook for planning a walkable environment.

Particular emphasis is placed on developing a community-based approach to planning, building broad local alliances and promoting user involvement in planning, effective cross-sectoral and intergenerational cooperation, and addressing the transport needs of de-privileged user groups (children, people with disabilities, elderly).


Programme Operator: IPoP – Institute for Spatial Policies

Partner: CIPRA Slovenia, Association for Protection of the Alps

Co-funder: Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia

Programme duration: 2022 – 2025


Photo: Luka Vidic, archive of the Pazi!park Association

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