Keep walking after Covid

This is a mock-up of a campaign, from proposal through to messaging and visuals. If if seems incomplete or lacks visuals, please come back in a few days — I am producing it in April/May 2020.

Key messages:

Narrative form:
Many of us have been walking near our home in rural Ireland and feeling better for it — so let’s keep walking after Covid. You now know you can walk at least two kilometres on your local roads, and are probably fit enough to go further. You know you can get groceries delivered, or how to drive carefully when there are bound to be families out walking or cycling. Let’s keep it up. Every one of us who walks instead of driving makes the road safer.

Stakeholder groups

Local membership
Local retailers, especially SuperValu, Centra, Londis, Spar.
Transport for Ireland, National Roads Authority

Project proposal
Rationale
In 2020 Irish towns and cities temporarily responded to the need for social distancing by widening footpaths and creating bicycle lanes; there is public pressure to make these changes permanent for public health and emissions targets. In rural Ireland, people used roads for their daily exercise by foot or bicycle and there were fewer cars; but the lower population density means fewer individual and community efforts to preserve the safer roads and more sustainable transport approaches that have emerged. This campaign aims to facilitate rural local authorities support more sustainable transport in rural Ireland, and local communities to support and use them.
Contribution to Strategic Plan
Meets our strategic plan on points x, y, z, because…
It is an add-on to our existing climate programme and would sit under it in the sustainable transport project.
Objective
The zero-emissions transport choices made during the pandemic travel restrictions continue afterwards in rural Ireland.
Outcomes
Village:
Car-parking spaces converted to bicycle parking, leaving footpaths clear

Rural:
Local authority planning to change road style to incorporate cycling & walking, single bi-directional car lane.
Budget
Staff hours can be largely covered by exiting staff, with support of local members. Campaign advocacy overheads will be approximately existing operating budget + 5 % for the duration of the campaign, i.e. less than 2.5% over the financial year.
Additional costs will come from graphic design support and online visual advertising.
Operational environmental impacts
Our additional carbon emissions will be from limited train travel and EV driving; members of the public who participate will be encouraged not to take polluting trips especially for the campaign but some may happen.
Risks of doing/not doing this campaign:
Increased walking may spur increased hedge cutting pressures including calls for out-of-season cutting, which can be a backward-looking point of conflict, and potentially with effects on biodiversity.

Risk of not doing:
Return to ‘business as usual’ leads to EV-centred approach, continuing or increasing financial burden on rural Ireland.
Timing
Start date: 18 May 2020
End date: 30 September 2020
Monitoring and Evaluation
At 6, 12 and 18 months:
– survey of schools on how pupils get to school
– roadside air quality tests according to EPA baseline
– official figures for speeding offences
– speed of sample car journeys, on baseline established during campaign

Reminder: this is a demo for the purposes of a portfolio, not an account of an actual process. The stakeholder engagement has not taken place.

Campaign proposal process

We started with an initial idea at Head Office, fitting it into our strategic vision and our theory of change for sustainable transport.
We then polled our local groups on the campaign concept note. This refined the objective, and outcomes, and stablished an initial list of challenges and opportunities.
With the help of our local groups identified key stakeholders. We ran two online & phone workshops, one for a rural area and one for a medium-sized city. After this we further refined out project framework.
At head office we agreed to proceed to the campaign implementation stage.