The below article was written by the PULCHRA City Science Reporters Team of Paralimni Lyceum in Cyprus
Sustainable mobility, free access, enjoyment of a peaceful environment are the basic human rights of all citizens, including people with reduced mobility or other disability, the elderly, people who want to have access to public or private spaces, at work, in the culture & entertainment places and health care facilities.
Our ambition is to turn urban mobility towards sustainable modes of transport, with the aim to deal with the challenges of the century. Such challenges are the protection of the climate, health, environment, the well being and the safety of all citizens. All of these can be achieved by transforming a «traditional city» into a «smart city», despite requiring smart solutions for handling the problem in the networking society.
The Mobility Urban Planning consists of seven basic principles, which are the objectives of this research work:
- Improving the quality of life
- Cost savings and creation of financial benefit
- Contribute to the improvement of health and the environment
- Improving access and promoting mobility
- More efficient and limited use of resources
- Support and promotion of public transport
- Promoting a new culture of mobility
The target for the completion of the research work was to create a cooperation climate between students, teachers, policymakers, the educational community, and the stakeholders for the common well-being of the local citizens. The students and teachers of Paralimni Lyceum, chose to study the area around the school and to make suggestions for the regeneration of the area.
Cooperation with stakeholders: In collaboration with the Open University of Cyprus, with policymakers (Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Works, Office of the Environment Commissioner) and the Road Safety Ambassadors, they discussed and studied the research area in order to suggest improvement actions which were captured in the Urban Renovation Map, with the final recipient the local authority (Municipality of Paralimni), so that the suggestions of the PULCHRA team, be applied in practice and on the substance for the social benefit.
Method of Implementation:
Initially, the students of the PULCHRA team attended a conference which was organized by the Open University in Cyprus, in collaboration with the Department of Sustainable Mobility of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, and the Office of the Environment Commissioner. The aim of the conference was to inform and raise awareness of students and the general public on the issues of sustainable mobility, sustainable development, and urban planning. The students gathered information from the presenters of the day and formed the basics for their action.
Subsequently, the area around the Paralimni Lyceum was defined as the study area. The study area is a key point of mobility movement for the area. Specifically, in the area operate:
- Four educational institutions. During the arrival/departure times of students to/from schools, there is an increase traffic of private vehicles, public transport, bicycles, and pedestrians.
- Police Station
- Church Agios Dimitrios
- Retail stores
- Roundabout (access of residents to/from Kapparis, Protaras, Deryneia, Sotira, and Ayia Napa)
- Houses, Apartments
Teamwork, Observation, Research:
The students were separated into 3 groups were each group walked and observed a separate part of the research area. The purpose of this action was to identify and record the points that needed improvement in matters related to safety (pedestrians, bicycles, passengers), public health ( green rest areas, noise pollution, urban gardening), the environment (public green spaces, bike paths, smart appliances, air pollution) and the society (bus stops, urban gardening).
Research Area No1:
Research Area No2:
Research Area No3:
Findings Presentation – Discussion:
The science team has provided time to the students for literature review on topics related to sustainable smart cities, urban mobility, urban public transport, road safety, etc., in order to gather information and to make suggestions for improvement of the study area. The students presented the results to the Road Safety Ambassadors and the meeting was held at the school. This was followed by a discussion between students’ suggestions and the Road Safety Ambassadors’ experience.
At the same time, the Road Safety Ambassadors helped the students to realize the great importance of the equal treatment of all citizens. Most of all, the students felt that their involvement in the community decisions was necessary in order to achieve the desire goals.
The Science Team, understood and described the area as accurate as possible, based on the personal experience of the participants.
Click here to find the URBAN RENOVATION MAP: https://www.figma.com/proto/P6QYEPTq75Tj3lP7H9zBdr/PULCHRA-Urban-Renovation-Map?node-id=204%3A3&scaling=min-zoom&page-id=204%3A2
P.S: The enjoyment of public spaces is inextricably linked to the citizens’ quality of life.