Town planning should advocate more active lifestyles and discourage sedentary attitudes. Young children should be offered various alternatives to play and express themselves freely close to their homes, in areas where motorized vehicles are not a threat.
Francesco Tonucci and his book La città dei bambini (The City of Children) were very influential in the transformation of Pontevedra into a space of experimentation and discovery for the young.
The School Path
The School Path is a program organized by the local police department to respond to the new mobility strategy. The whole school community was involved in the implementation of this collaborative effort, in which a network of volunteers take turns controlling traffic flows in the busiest streets, to ensure that schoolchildren feel safe crossing the road. Most business owners also take part in the School Path and play the role of supervisors if any help is needed. Schoolchildren are aware that they can ask for assistance in any shop or café in the area. The great majority of children choose to go to school walking on their own or with a group of friends.
Playing in the street
The city should be conceived as a place for exploration, discovery and autonomous learning, which are some of the fundamental aspects that make Pontevedra ideal for the development of didactic competences and skills beyond the classroom. Children are the main protagonists of a space that is welcoming for them. In Tonucci’s terms: the city should think of children as active participants; the city itself works better when everyone is included.