Greenpeace launches half term art and photography competition for Edinburgh pupils

An art and photography competition has been launched by Greenpeace to encourage young Edinburgh residents to express their visions for an accessible green capital city.
The team at the Greenpeace Edinburgh officeThe team at the Greenpeace Edinburgh office
The team at the Greenpeace Edinburgh office

Edinburgh pupils aged between five and 18 are being asked to submit their ideas, solutions, or simply their favourite active-travel locations as a photo or in the form of a poster by February 13.

The competition is aimed at giving young people a say in their future spaces.

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Entrants are encouraged to show Edinburgh city councillors how much they love accessible green spaces or to illustrate how they envision the future of active travel in the Capital.

Greenpeace art competitionGreenpeace art competition
Greenpeace art competition

Categories are age appropriate and entries will be judged by members on the transport and environment committee alongside local artists and representatives from cycling and wheeling organisations in Edinburgh.

A separate vote will be held on social media so that the public can pick their favourite artwork or photograph.

The winning entries will be announced on February 21 and will also be used in future Greenpeace campaigns to highlight local transport improvements in Edinburgh.

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In a study released in 2018 by Health Protection Scotland, it was estimated that around 1,700 premature deaths were caused by air pollution per year. But even this estimate is considered by the Friends of the Earth Scotland to be low - with their estimate closer to 2,500.

As a result Greenpeace are calling on the local council and the government to invest more money into walking, cycling and green public transport, rather than building new roads.

Anke Bremmer, Greenpeace Edinburgh, said: “The pandemic has helped us to appreciate our city with less cars on the streets and the corresponding reduction in noise, air pollution, or danger to cyclists and pedestrians. And more often than not it is lower income communities that suffer the greatest from health problems relating to air pollution and congestion.

“We want children to engage with this important topic as it will shape their future living spaces. During February half-term, we are hosting an art competition to celebrate our existing low traffic neighbourhoods, cycling paths and other active travel infrastructure. Pupils are asked to submit their ideas, solutions, or simply their favourite active-travel locations as a photo or in form of a poster.”

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Anyone wishing to take part is to submit their entry to: [email protected].

Transport and environment convener, councillor Lesley Macinnes, who will judge entrants as part of a panel, said that it is important that we include young people in discussions on how to create a greener city, and that as a society we leave them with a legacy that they are proud of.

Transport and environment vice convener, councillor Karen Doran, also a judge, said: “Over the last ten months we’ve seen just how measures like pop-up cycle lanes and pedestrianised streets have helped young people and their families to travel safely on foot, bike or wheelchair.

“This might have inspired some of the entrants to this competition to think about how changes like these could benefit the city long-term – or we might see some new and pioneering solutions.”

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