The LOOP project has developed Mobility management guidance for primary schools in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The project was funded as part of the Mobility Management programme 2010-2011 (LOHJELMA) funded by the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communication and Finnish Transport Agency.
Background & Objectives
Education and marketing are one of the main elements in Mobility management. The common aim is that these should fit in with educational activities already taught in primary schools. However, schools are lacking basic tools and guidance on how this can be achieved. The main aim of the LOOP project was to develop in cooperation with stakeholders a Mobility Management Guidance for Primary schools in the Helsinki metropolitan area that would offer practical instructions and models for mobility management education. In addition the document would work as a guiding principle for schools to prepare their school travel plans.
The project was led by Lectus consultancy in cooperation with several other organisations. Information about existing mobility management practices and good examples in 10 pilot schools in the Helsinki area was gathered to develop the guidance document. The schools were also requested to provide information about their current plans and interest to develop school travel plans. In addition benchmarking guidance from schools in England and Sweden was used to collect background information for the resource.
During the project the pilot schools were offered help to initiate their own travel plans. The method was so successful that the pilot schools made greater progress with their travel plans than it was expected in the beginning of the project.>The plans had targets such as increasing the number of walking and cycling children, decreasing the number cars collecting individual children from school and improving personal safety and health.
The project was the first initiative in Finland to develop and introduce into schools practical tools and guidance for mobility management. It resulted in a comprehensive guidance including common instructions and a template for School Travel plans. The document is available in Finnish and Swedish and although, mainly targeted at municipalities in Helsinki region can be easily applied elsewhere. With the help of Travel plan the schools can investigate and increase the use of walking, cycling and public transport.
Helsinki regional transport will now extend the travel plan work previously targeted at workplaces, to schools in the area. The project also facilitated cooperation between Helsinki Regional transport, the Educational Department's of municipalities and active individuals within the schools, in order to develop the School travel plans. As a result of the project a decision was made, that in future the environmental body responsible in municipalities will support schools in preparing their travel plans. The results also completed the sustainable development plan that is obligatory for all schools by bringing in the sustainable mobility perspective.
Picture Source: Kalle Toiskallio / Drawings of pupils in Granhultskola, Kauniainen