Elected member of the Green Party, Alfonso Gomez, would like to see some of Geneva’s streets closed to cars on Wednesdays and Sundays to give children more space to run around.
Gomez, cites a study by Pro Juventute, which calculates that an average city kid spent 3 to 4 hours running around outside in 1970, compared to 47 minutes today. In a fight against this lack of exercise, a major cause of obesity and attention disorders, Gomez wants to close certain Geneva streets to cars on Wednesday afternoons and Sundays.
The World Health Organisation recommends children from 5 to 17 get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day.
Councillor Esther Alder, another Green Party member, is also very keen on the plan. She met with children in Eaux-Vives to ask them for ideas.
A similar initiative in Lugano, in the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino has been a success.
Not everyone likes the idea however. Patricia Richard (PLR) thinks it’s a bad idea. For her, closing the centre of town to cars would be a mistake. She thinks there are enough parks and playgrounds and has had enough of Green Party dogmatism that assumes everyone should walk everywhere.
In any case the government of the Canton would need the city of Geneva to agree before any roads could be closed.