Aberdeen primary school pupil wins CARE-North sustainable transport of the future competition

Two Professors from Robert Gordon University (RGU) today (Friday, 7 September) announced the winners of their sustainable transport of the future poster competition. Overall winner, Zoe Fong (7), who is in primary three at Hanover Street Primary School in Aberdeen impressed judges with her ideas about how we could change the way we travel in the future.

Zoe’s entry showed that we can adapt our thinking when it comes to our journeys and perhaps travel by other means which are kind to the environment, including walking, travelling by boat, hot air balloon or by horse.

Not only was she lucky enough to win an iPad for her school, but will also join other runners up from primary schools across Aberdeen, who will have their posters displayed within Robert Gordon University’s Aberdeen Business School atrium in the coming weeks.

The competition invited Primary Schools across the North East to go green, and create eco-friendly transport in order to help the research project- CARE-North. With over 130 entries from all over the city, the competition aimed to engage a variety of age groups on the importance of carbon responsible solutions.

Depute Head Teacher of Hanover Street Primary School, Shiona Annal commented, “We are very excited that one of our pupils has won this poster competition.  I think we may have some budding professors within our school and we are very much looking forward to using our iPad throughout our classrooms.”

This competition forms part of a three year research project which the professors have undertaken within the University’s Institute for Innovation, Design and Sustainability Research (IDEAS) called CARE-North.

With Robert Gordon University as the main academic partner for CARE North, Professors and researchers have taken various approaches to raise awareness whilst exploring both existing work and new recommendations from across the North Sea Region. Through this it will help the project move towards achieving EU 20-20-20 energy targets. Partners involved include Aberdeen City Council, West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority (METRO), the municipalities of Bremen, Malmö and Gothenberg, the province of Fryslân and the Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI). RGU is the project’s sole academic partner, and is in its third year of research for CARE-North.

The competition will also allow CARE-North to develop carbon reduction plans for transport whilst allowing the public to gain an understanding of the link between transport and the increase of CO2 emissions.

Professor Richard Laing of Robert Gordon University said: “Through the use of the competition, it has not only allowed us to raise awareness to variety of age-groups but has helped raise the importance of adopting carbon responsible transport solutions.

“Overall, the posters were great, and the creativity and ideas were brilliant. The pupils understood exactly how to make the transport interesting, yet eco-friendly. We would like to extend our congratulations to Zoe for doing such a good job as we felt her entry perfectly captured some of the ways in which we can change our behaviour to travel in a more sustainable way. The response from the competition was really successful and we have definitely reached our aims.”

CARE-North is supported by the ERDF Interreg IVB North Sea Region Programme.

Notes to Editors:


As CARE-North’s sole academic partner, our six strong research team from Robert Gordon University’s Institute for Innovation, Design and Sustainability Research (IDEAS) is exploring options and compiling recommendations to achieve CO² reduction through better and more sustainable urban transport.

We are working with partners around the North Sea including Aberdeen City Council, METRO, the municipalities of Bremen, Malmö and Gothenburg, the province of Fryslân and ICLEI.

We are looking at six factors to reduce CO² emissions:

Video conferencing

We are finding out how we can effectively reduce CO² emissions through the promotion of increased video conferencing use in organisations such as RGU. We have carried out a travel survey of RGU employees and are calculating the amount of time, money and CO² that can be saved by substituting 15% of staff journeys with tele and video conferencing.

Public Engagement

How ready are the population of Aberdeen City to engage with new travel ideas and efforts towards carbon reduction? We have been finding out online by asking almost 700 Aberdonians about their travel behaviours and responses to potential initiatives.

Delivering low CO² transport solutions in Scotland

While the solutions are out there, there are particular challenges involved in delivering green transport initiatives in countries like Scotland. We have commissioned consultants to identify some of the key technical, financial, cultural and institutional barriers to the implementation of low carbon transport policies in Scotland’s cities.

Urban design and sustainable transport

Our team has looked into various urban design options for Aberdeen, including redesign of the city centre that encourages increased use of low emission transport methods such as walking and cycling. We will present a conference paper on this following completion of our research.

Traffic Modelling

In another exciting part of our research, we have been helping to develop a piece of software which enables architects, engineers and urban designers to virtually test the effects road layouts and other measures have on transport behaviour. This software also enables the user to model things like speed limiters and GPS directions on CO² emissions and travel times. We have some fantastic visual material to accompany our report and academic paper - ask us for more information!


The final factor in our research will see us produce a series of succinct policy statements based on our research. These will focus on local and national CO² reduction efforts, decision making around this topic and provide advice across the whole of the North Sea region.

Issued on behalf of CARE-North by Lynsey Sheperd, AVC Creative Ltd, 01224 248007.