Sholing community celebrates Child-Friendly Streets

child on bike in urban community

Montague Avenue is transformed into a colourful child-friendly space

two boys pot plants
16 October 2018

Last month the community of Sholing in Southampton came together to help transform their neighbourhood into a bright and colourful child-friendly space.

Taking place on the green on Montague Avenue, locals were able to decorate trees and brighten up the pathways with colourful patterns. Urban furniture and planting were installed and are set to remain in place until December to encourage more local residents to enjoy the outdoor space.

The event was part of Sholing Child-Friendly Streets, a project run by the local council’s sustainable travel brand, My Journey, and in partnership with Sustrans and the University of Southampton. The project involved the local community who helped in identifying areas for improvement and ways to make the space safer, more attractive and child-friendly.

A neighbourhood with many children on its public spaces is an indicator that it is well designed and sustainable

As part of the EU Metamorphosis Project, the initiative aims to transform car-oriented neighbourhoods into child-friendly spaces in collaboration with local communities.

Metamorphosis works from the premise that a neighbourhood with many children on its public spaces is well designed and sustainable.

The benefits of walking and cycling are well documented

James Cleeton, Sustrans England South Director said:

“The benefits of walking and cycling are well documented, but how can we expect people to do more if they won’t walk and cycle in their own neighbourhood?

“Involving people in the redesign of their neighbourhoods not only ensures good design that targets the issues people experience every day but also improves community cohesion. Together this creates a more inviting environment to walk or cycle in for people who may otherwise have driven.”

Community collaboration

The first phase of the Sholing Child-Friendly Streets Project commenced in March this year with a street closure outside Valentine Primary School.

Community collaboration included two co-design workshops where participants were invited to share their creative ideas.

The community were able to share their views on the proposed changes by voting on various design sketches.

Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport and Public Realm said:

“It’s been lovely to see the enthusiastic reaction to this project from the Sholing community.

“By supporting residents to make these small, positive changes to their local area, we can encourage a greater number of people to use active travel in an inviting, safe and enjoyable environment.”

My Journey is the sustainable travel brand of Southampton City Council and aims to tackle poor air quality and promote a healthier, more active lifestyle by encouraging people to use a greater level of cycling, walking and public transport to replace shorter journeys made by car.

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