CHILDREN'S artwork, highlighting the impacts of air pollution has been projected onto our cityscape in advance of Clean Air Day which will be marked by a free event in George Square on 20 June, dedicated to air quality.

This move follows a SEPA led initiative which, with support from partner organisations Cycling Scotland and Living Streets saw primary pupils create artwork about reducing air pollution, some of which were turned into large display banners.

This work culminated in designs by pupils from Caldercuilt, St Vincent’s and St Angela’s Primary schools being beamed onto the City Chambers, Glasgow Science Centre and the Armadillo last night to highlight Clean Air Day, a national initiative which offers everyone the chance to find out more about making our air cleaner and healthier.

Councillor Anna Richardson, Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction who chose the three designs for projection said; “Our youngsters are clearly very passionate about their environment and the art they’ve created shows a keen appreciation for the benefits of clean air.  We know that the health of the young can be disproportionately affected by poor air quality and so we remain committed to reducing pollution through many initiatives including our trailblazing Low Emission Zone, bus priority measures and projects that encourage and support active travel”.

John Bynorth, Policy and Communications Officer at Environmental Protection Scotland who are co-ordinating Clean Air Day activities in Scotland said: “These beautiful pieces of artwork by the school pupils are a powerful way of informing people about how they care about the quality of air we breathe. The projections from some of Glasgow’s best known buildings aim to make people stop and think twice about using their car in the city centre or for shorter trips – such as the school run or to the shops - and consider walking, cycling or using public transport.”

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Patricia O’Keefe, Teacher at St Vincent’s Primary School said; “Our pupils read up on air pollution on the internet, watched videos and discussed the issue before designing the artwork. A few of our pupils suffer from asthma and we looked at how poor air quality in particular affects people with respiratory conditions.  It was a great opportunity for our pupils to express their concerns about air pollution in this way and for Beth (P6) and Samuel (P1) to have banners made for display outside the school. It's a real credit to Samuel in particular that his artistic efforts were chosen to launch Clean Air Day and to be projected onto buildings across the city."

Gail Palmarini, Head Teacher at Caldercuilt Primary School and Nursery Class said; “The children were very excited to create artwork about ways air quality could be improved, both in their community and across the wider environment.  The standard of work produced was fantastic and it was really difficult to choose the two designs that were converted into banners.   Vibrant and thoughtful designs by Sophie (P7b)  and Jazmine (P2) now take pride of place outside our school and act as a reminder to others of the benefits, especially to children, of clean air.”

Rosanna Gallone, Teacher at St Angela’s Primary School said; “Our children are keen environmentalists and the importance of clean air has been reflected in their wonderfully creative artwork. They really enjoyed the experience and the standard of work reflecting how air pollution could be tackled was fantastic to see.  Neve (P5b) and Aiza (P3b) were both delighted that their designs were made into banners and are now displayed for everyone to see outside St Angela’s. “

Dr Colin Gillespie, Principal Air Scientist at SEPA commented; “Our work with Glasgow City Council has proven to be a real success in promoting the issues of air quality. Pupils have been really engaged with the project. We were very impressed with the quality of the posters, and it was very gratifying to see the level of understanding of the key issues that they displayed. Our work with schools has highlighted the fact that pupils really care about their environment, and have real concerns about air pollution. They have shown that we all have a role to play at improving our environment.”

Kath Brough, Head of Behaviour Change at Cycling Scotland added; “Cycling Scotland is delighted to support SEPA’s EEA schools project, promoting walking and cycling as the healthiest, cheapest and greenest ways to get to and from school. The impactful banners, designed by school pupils, will remind pupils, parent / carers, teachers and staff of the small changes we can all make to improve the quality of the air we all breathe.”

Rebecca Simpson, Project Manager from Living Streets Scotland said: “More children walking to school means fewer cars around our school gates, helping to reduce congestion and the levels of toxic air our children breathe. Being physically active can also help get those creative juices flowing, as these fantastic banners from these keen walkers show.”

Clean Air Day 2019

Clean Air Day is being coordinated by Environmental Protection Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) strategy. The council is working closely with the Glasgow-based charity to mark the special day dedicated to air quality with a free event in George Square on Thursday 20 June 2019 between 10am-2pm.

Hot on the heels of Glasgow’s newly introduced Low Emission Zone, Clean Air Day offers something for everyone. State of the art low emission buses operated by the city’s main operators will make for an exciting presence on the Square, as will an array of electric vehicles of all sizes including a Renault Zoe, Hyundai Kona, and the iconic BMW i8. All you need to know about car clubs will be catered for too, with Enterprise and Co-Wheels on hand to supply information and answer questions.

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Elsewhere, visitors to the square will be able to find out more from Network Rail about the redevelopment of nearby Queen Street Station.

They’ll be plenty to interest those keen on cycling and amongst those highlighting sustainable travel alternatives will be Next Bike who will be showcasing their innovative bike sharing scheme.

Clean Air Day will also showcase the Avenues programme, a £115 million Glasgow City Deal scheme that is creating an integrated network of pedestrian and cycle priority routes in our city centre, making active travel easier, safer and more attractive.