Batumi / Behavioural change / children / Public Spaces / shared space / tactical urbanism / workshop

Safe Way to School in Georgia: Tactical Urbanism Pilot at Public School #14 in Batumi

Due to traffic issues, many children in Batumi, Georgia, no longer have a safe way to school. Therefore, a number of parents choose to bring their children to school by car, making the traffic environment around the school even more unsafe. This trend affects the well-being of children and families in Batumi on the short term-i.e. stress, not arriving in school with a fresh mind, collisions in traffic-and on the long term-less health, not building active mobility habits. Parents and teachers are worried about this situation and there has been a wish within the school community to counter this trend. The Safe Way to School project, for which we are commissioned by GIZ / Mobility4Cities, addresses these issues at Public School #14, in collaboration with Batumi City Hall, the school community, and Black Sea Eco Academy.

Together with colleague Moniek Jansen, I traveled to Batumi to implement a 6-day Tactical Urbanism Pilot in which we closed off the street to car traffic and parking in front of the school. A great team of volunteers helped with the construction of the pilot, monitoring the results, with organizing activities in the huge space that the street now provided, and with communicating to the school community and the public.

Before and during the pilot
Painting the street

At the end of the six days the children, many parents, and residents became accustomed to the quiet and safe space in front of the school, a place where they could freely roam, play, or simply sit together. They experienced what the street could be like when it is opened up to people, instead of parked cars and traffic.

Dancing together on the street

This Safe Way to School Tactical Urbanism Pilot will serve as a showcase of how tactical urbanism interventions can support the process of creating safe ways to school for children. Not only in Batumi, but throughout Georgia, the Caucasus Region and beyond. Each day millions of children and youth all over the world go to school. Trips to school are amongst the most common and basic trips in our societies, and it is time to make sure each child gets a Safe Way to School.


Angela van der Kloof

‘Planning, promotion and education for cycling are great tools that contribute to making places thrive, people participate and be healthy, as well as to the quality of the living environment.’

Strategic Advisor