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Bicycle Heroes

Children designing bicycle routes from their school to Trinity College Dublin

In a project called “Bicycle Heroes”, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City Council and partners will work with children from DEIS schools to design cycle routes from their school to Trinity. 

Children have a unique perspective on their surroundings yet often go unheard. That's why a coalition of organisations are enabling young people to tackle urban challenges head on with a project shared between Dublin, Lisbon and Rome, that gives city building tools to children.

In Dublin, Donna Cooney, Dublin Bicycle Mayor and project manager of the Dublin Bicycle Heroes programme will co-ordinate workshops for children from DEIS primary and secondary schools during 2022.  The children will create solutions to local cycling barriers on the route from their school to Trinity, before approaching Dublin City Council with their ideas. The project is supported by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative from the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, a body of the European Union.

Inclusion of and investment in children in cities is vital, now more than ever. Over 50% of the world's population now live in urban centres, and 1/3 of those are children. For every $1 spent on programmes for children, between $6.40-17.60 is returned thanks to healthier children growing into healthier adults.

“The cities across the world that Dublin is trying to emulate in cycling numbers have been promoting cycling to and with children for decades and it has been shown that these early interventions can result in lifelong cycling habits.”
Prof. Brian Caulfield, Trinity College Dublin

The Bicycle Heroes programme has been piloted by coordinating organisation BYCS over the last five years in the Netherlands. Nearly ten thousand children have taken part in the initial awareness and problem-solving phase of the program, leading to the selection of approximately 150 Bicycle Heroes. Participating municipalities and institutions have expressed interest in implementing a number of the selected ideas. This 2022 project builds on these successes, taking what has worked well to a Europe-wide level.  It is being delivered in Dublin by Dublin City Council’s Safe Routes to School and School Zones initiative, and in Trinity by the Healthy Trinity initative, researchers from the School of Civil Engineering and the Trinity Access Programme.   

"I'm so excited about coordinating the first BYCS Bicycle Heroes project in Dublin with partners Trinity College and Dublin City Council. We will be working with groups of children aged 10 to 15 years, to give them the tools to enable them to reimagine their city space to meet their needs. Children will be empowered by designing, exhibiting and presenting to transport engineers, planners and decision makers to influence the design of Dublin City spaces for their own future active transport needs."
Donna Cooney, Dublin Bicycle Mayor and project manager of the Dublin Bicycle Heroes  

If you would like to be involved email Donna Cooney on