Youth Time continues the series of initiatives led by young activists by traveling to Brazil to highlight the amazing work of Bernardo Pietrobelli- a young activist who designed COLETI.VU- a project putting together young people and advocating for an increased social participation of youth in the city administration regarding road safety.
Pietrobelli sits with Youth Time to share this idea and how youth are using it towards building a better community.
He believes that we are all political beings and COLETI.VU intends to stimulate civic engagement as it demands safer and more sustainable cities.
“But more than that, it intends to build a channel of communication between the public administration and youth – as kids, teenagers and young adults are the main victims of road crashes and, in an apparent paradox, are the least heard voices when it comes to designing, implementing and monitoring urban mobility policies.”
His goal is to monitor, influence and propose public policies related to youth safety and urban mobility in Porto Alegre in 2021 and 2022 as a means of improving road safety, youth participation and securing a more accessible and sustainable city. In this interview, he updates us on how this is all going.
He calls on the youth of Brazil, and not only, to take part in road safety awareness efforts through his project. More specifically, together with members of the Fundação Thiago Gonzaga and representatives from schools around Porto Alegre he created a youth council under his project to lead road safety awareness campaigns around Brazil. The Youth Council is raising awareness within their networks and throughout Brazil by utilizing online tools and platforms. During the interview, he dwells more on the work of the Council.
Read on for an inspiring journey like no other.
Shaping the City with a Human Point of View
This project monitors public mobility policies, proposes projects and actions aimed at youth, and holds the authorities accountable to get their commitment towards executing practical actions.
In this regard, Pietrobelli shares his say on why the project helps to use public spaces in favour of a safer, more sustainable, accessible and fair city.
“This project believes that streets are public spaces that should be safe, sustainable and inclusive to all. It is everyone’s right to seize them and it is important to remember they are made up of people, from various backgrounds, ages, gender, etc., and not machines.”
That said, he believes, they should be able to provide safe and healthy conditions to all – whether they be the kids playing, cyclists, women, poor people, drivers, etc.
“Only by adopting a humane point of view can we truly shape the city to our benefit, reducing the car-centric culture and social inequalities.”
He and his time are motivated to fight unfairness and inequality, especially stemming from road crashes involving young people.
This motivation was boosted by the support gained by the Global Youth Coalition, for which he remains grateful.
“They [the Coalition] provided us with financial resources to assist the implementation of the activities planned and with capacity development workshops so our young leaders can build expertise on project management and advocacy.”
Road Safety Awareness Campaigns in Brazil
Within the framework of this initiative, he is also leading road safety awareness campaigns around Brazil.
His team has mapped twenty-one public and private schools around Porto Alegre and gathered ten active volunteers from Fundação Thiago Gonzaga to talk about the project. A total of eight schools showed interest in participating in the project.
“After the schools and volunteers were finalized, the team organized five sessions with the schools where they welcomed four students each to join the project. From this, a youth council under COLETI.VI was established. The council is represented by twenty-two youth leaders.” he says.
During October, COLETI.VU and Youth Council created an online event for the inauguration of the project.
An Innovation to the Youth
We here at Youth Time have proved several times about the crucial role that youth can have and are having into improving our living conditions, especially when they come together.
On this note, Pietrobelli, who has a graduate degree in International Relations and is currently a Master’s student in Economics and a volunteer for Fundação Thiago Gonzaga – Vida Urgente, invites all young people to unite and show their strength.
“Let’s get together, debate, communicate, unite our voices to face the challenges that affect us most.”
He believes that young people can and should be the last generation of young people affected so dramatically by road violence!
Conclusively, Pietrobelli says that it is important for young people to stay active in their societies and make their voices heard.
“It is important to bring youth closer to the decision table as they are the future beneficiaries of what is being decided right now. It is only fair that they have a say in the public policies that will shape their future as students, professionals, pedestrians and decision makers themselves.”
Pictures courtesy of Grese Sermaxhaj
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