School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

School children redesign city

Sean Peacock - PhD Researcher in Urban Planning

PGR student Sean Peacock discusses his research to mark #CleanAirDay

Air pollution has a particularly damaging effect on children. They’re still growing and breathe faster than adults do. They also live closer to the ground, where the most polluting gases from vehicles accumulate. Pollution from traffic has been linked to problems with brain development, stunted growth, respiratory conditions, cancers and 300,000 child deaths worldwide.

Children themselves are far from oblivious to all this. The school climate strikes show that young people are forcing air pollution and the climate crisis to the top of the political agenda. The strikes tell us that children demand a platform to challenge pollution in their environment. Unable to voice their concerns in school, they are forced to take radical action. What if instead there was a way to work with children in tackling air pollution and climate change?

Through my research, I look for ways that we can give children the tools, the skills and the confidence to affect change in the cities they live in. With the help of teachers and my colleagues in Open Lab – a research group at Newcastle University – we’ve come up with Sense Explorers, a series of lessons to run in primary schools.

Read the full article in The Conversation

Sean Peacock Clean Air Day