GOING TO SCHOOL WITH FRIENDS
WALKING BUS IN MILAN
The Walking bus, called Pedibus in italian, is a bus with children going to school all together: it works like a schoolbus with the beginning and end of the line, and intermediate stops which have scheduled times to meet. The only difference is that feet are the ones to move the bus. One or more parents guide the group, while the children, in security, chat, make exercise and do not pollute.
MeglioMilano has been following this project as from 1998, when it launched an awareness campaign stressing the importance of sustainable mobility, of children’s independence and of making exercise. During the years, MeglioMilano has collaborated with various institutes, thereby involving different school components: from the school management to the teachers, from the families to the children themselves. From 2007, in synergy with the City of Milan, Department of Family, School and Social Politics, and thanks to the funds allocated by law 285/97, the project has been extended to the whole urban territory: after the experimental phase which allowed for the definition of the necessary steps to be undertaken to activate the Walking Bus and the creation of the social network essential to ensure the success of the project, we are nowadays implementing and realising the objectives, which has culminated in the Walking Bus day on 29th October 2010 at the Lido of Milan. During this year about 40 schools have been participating and some thousands of children have been involved in the various didactic and Walking Bus activities.
The City of Milan has set up a technical table composed of representatives of the various areas which are involved in ensuring safety of the itinerary and the placing of “walking bus” stops. A pedagogist organises didactic laboratories and awareness campaigns in the schools for parents, teachers and children; the bookshop Feltrinelli KIDZ, which participates as partner in the project, sets up meetings at schools with authors of books for children and has launched a game, the Pedibook, which will award the most virtuous schools with book vouchers. It also provides space in its bookshops for road educational courses given by the Local Police.
MeglioMilano not only coordinates the activities on various levels of complexity, from the survey on mobility to the setting up of awareness campaigns with parents and teachers, from the support to the didactic activities to the inspection and communication, but it also jointly runs, with the organization called Camina, the Pedibus office in Corso Venezia 43, Milan.