Community engagement is the cornerstone of our approach. We truly feel that without proper engagement of the community, effective action cannot be taken. This is because the community (in our case, students and parents) are the folks who travel in their neighbourhood every day. They understand the intricacies of how to get around effectively, and the locations that just don’t feel safe.
The School Walk Tool
School Walk is an engagement tool developed by our partner, Civicplan. This tool helps us find out how students get to school, including the routes they take and the challenges they face along the way. Community members use School Walk to suggest safety improvements in their neighbourhood and ideas to get more students walking/wheeling. You can see the results of School Walk on your School Page!
Learn more about School Walk here: Plan Local | School Walk
The DSR is an active transportation system for kids, with kids. Students possess a unique understanding of their neighbourhood, their peers, and their own capabilities. We believe that harnessing and using this knowledge leads to projects that are more effective at supporting and increasing active transportation.
Parents and caregivers are typically the decision-makers regarding whether or not children will actively travel to school. From parents, we seek not only data from surveys, but continuous engagement and involvement in the activities of the DSR. Fortunately, the Hamilton Active and Sustainable School Travel (ASST) Hub has developed a brilliant strategy for engaging parents to build community support for active travel initiatives. We frequently consult this strategy in our work, and use its tools where applicable.
Learn more about the strategy here: School Travel Plan | City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.