Under the slogan “Do you want to change the world? Start here in Almada!”, the local City Council has been promoting the project “Children’s Agenda 21 of Almada”. The project plans to generate an educational process through which children learn about Agenda 21 and sustainable development. The initiative aims at listening to local children and their ideas for improving Almada and the Planet.
Background & Objectives
Amongst the main goals of the project is the development of activities where children can face and identify problematic or positive situations, that must either be changed or expanded; the mobilization of children’s participation through information for the process of problem solving; the debate between young participants, specialists from different areas, politicians and other decision makers; the inclusion of children’s ideas in the annual City Council Action Plan and the implementation of measures and improvements proposed by them.
One of the four big themes defined for the project was called “In Movement” and in its framework are explored issues of sustainable mobility and transports, with the support of the municipal team. Almada’s Mayor and Town Councillors commented on dozens of ideas and proposals from the children to improve mobility in Almada.
The first phase of the project was called “The Message” and took place in early 2004. Outdoor teasers posed the question: “Do you want to change the world? Start here in Almada!” A booklet was distributed in local schools, other strategic points and also through the City Council Newspaper - 100.000 copies directly in local mailboxes. The booklet included a short description of the project and also a message from the Mayor of Almada asking children to give their opinion about Almada. Thousands of postcards sent by kids from all around Almada were received and among the problems they identified, one of the most mentioned was “Traffic problems”.
To help implementing the ideas suggested by the children, since the beginning of the project, the school that worked the “In movement” theme, is involved in the organization of the European Mobility Week and in the European Car Free Day campaign. The measures proposed by the children are implemented and adopted as permanent measures of sustainable mobility, as defined in the European Mobility Week, giving the project of the Local Agenda 21 of the Children a wider and integrated dimension, coordinated with other projects to promote and improve sustainable mobility in Almada.