Summary of the local experiment
The social experiment aims to enhance the understanding of school communities regarding their role in promoting sustainable mobility in the city. Through co-creation sessions involving relevant stakeholders, collaborative decisions will be sought on how school communities can better support the transition to sustainable school mobility in Panevėžys.
The city of Panevėžys has a modal split of 59% car use, 18% public transport use, 3% cycling, and 20% walking. The three schools participating in the experiment demonstrate varying degrees of sustainable transport usage, ranging from 87% walking (Berzu Progymnasium School) to 50% of students being brought by car (Azuolo Progymnasium School). Currently, the city's strategic documents lack emphasis on actively involving schools in implementing sustainable mobility concepts. The Panevėžys Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) only includes two measures related to promoting sustainable mobility in schools: providing affordable public transport tickets for students and establishing special public transport routes for school transportation.
Specific needs and challenges
To engage young people in the social experiment, innovative and interactive methods will be employed. The experiment will utilize playful approaches such as field trips, games, online tools, and workshops, as well as ICT tools in "Local Mobility Future Forums" to encourage active and creative participation from children. A key challenge will be to effectively engage and motivate children to express their opinions and ideas on shaping the city's sustainable mobility.
Detailed description of the experiment
Panevėžys, the fifth largest city in Lithuania, is known for its green and pleasant environment but also faces environmental issues like air pollution and high noise levels due to its industrial significance. The city has set goals to combat climate change and developed a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) in 2017. However, school mobility remains problematic, with 45% of children being brought to school by car despite 21 schools being located within a 500m distance from 82% of the children's homes. In contrast, only 20% use public transport, 19% walk, and 3% cycle.
The city's current documents do not adequately address the underlying factors contributing to this situation, such as inadequate bicycle infrastructure, traffic safety issues, and inefficient public transportation. Additionally, there is a lack of consistent education and capacity development for school children regarding sustainable mobility in Lithuania.
The social experiment aims to understand the role of school communities in Panevėžys' sustainable mobility system and empower young people to contribute their voices to the process. Through a series of co-creation sessions, relevant stakeholders will actively collaborate to identify common solutions for better supporting sustainable school mobility in the city. The overall objective is to increase the number of sustainable journeys and improve the safety and health aspects of school mobility. Additionally, the experiment will expand the knowledge base on climate change actions within the municipality and enable the voices of young people to contribute to the development of local policy recommendations.
The main target group for the experiment is school communities, including school children aged 10-16, parents, and teachers. School children are considered influential in shaping the behaviors of their peers, parents, and teachers. Their active participation is vital as they will be directly affected by current mobility policies in the future.
The experiment collaborates closely with various local partners, including:
- Relevant departments of Panevėžys Municipality, such as the Education and Youth Affairs Department, City Infrastructure Department, and Territorial Planning and Architecture Department, as well as politicians involved in urban mobility planning.
- Local NGOs and bicycle organizations that support the municipality and communities in making sustainable decisions.
- Panevėžys City Transport Company and the police, responsible for local public transportation and traffic safety.
- Panevėžys City Municipality Public Health Bureau, which focuses on shaping a safe and healthy environment for the city community.
The results of the experiment will be presented in a final conference. Representatives of other schools and other relevant stakeholders will be invited to the event. The three participating schools are envisioned to continue working on this issue by implementing the prepared School Travel Plans (STP). Developed education and activities toolkit will support implementation of real measures. Following the experiment, other schools in Panevėžys will have a possibility to learn from the three participating schools and use developed guidelines for the preparation of their School Travel Plans. In the future, the policy recommendations for travel to school strategies at the city level will be incorporated into the revised and updated Panevėžys SUMP. These recommendations will encourage Panevėžys municipality to work actively and more closely to satisfy the mobility needs of young people.
Environmental Center for Administration and Technology (ECAT)
Number of inhabitants
Lina Gelaziene, Directorlina [at] ecat [dot] lt
Fields of Action Forum
Youth Mobility Policy Forum
Study Tour (Sofia)
Youth Design Forum I
Youth Design Forum II
Related Green Deal Priorities
For further details please contact co-leads Professor Chris Foulds (email@example.com) and Professor Rosie Robison (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036640. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SHARED GREEN DEAL HAS project and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.