Schoolboy’s ‘sad world’ design picked to launch Clean Air Day in Glasgow

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A schoolboy’s artwork showing the world choked by traffic fumes launched Glasgow City Council’s flagship Clean Air Day event in George Square.

Samuel Ribier, (6), a pupil at St Vincent’s Primary School in Carnwadric, drew ‘Sad World’ to highlight the damage caused by polluting cars to people’s health and the environment.

It was part of in-class projects involving pupils from several Glasgow schools to design art which aimed to raise awareness of the air quality problems caused by petrol and diesel cars and the health benefits of cycling and walking.

Samuel’s artwork caught the eye of Councillor Anna Richardson, City convener of the Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Committee, and it was turned into a poster by SEPA to launch the city council’s free public event in George Square which takes place on Clean Air Day, June 20.

Samuel, and fellow St Vincent’s pupil, Beth Kelly, 10, whose artwork was also turned into a poster, joined Cllr Richardson, bus company bosses and other participants at the launch outside the City Chambers.

The posters will be attached to their school’s railing to remind parents of the benefits of cycling, walking and using public transport to cut air pollution.

The French-born youngster moved to Glasgow with his family from Lyon a year ago and regularly cycles to school with his mother.

Samuel designed ‘Sad World’ – which conveys the message ‘Keep Our Air Clean’ – after taking part in a classroom discussion about air pollution. He said the picture showed how “people are polluting the world.”

His mother Marianne, said: “We are so proud of Samuel. I am concerned about people driving their children to school when they don’t live very far away. We live nearby and cycle to school.”

Samuel’s teacher Patricia O’Keefe, said her primary one class read up on air pollution on the internet, watched videos and discussed the issue before designing the artwork.

She added: “A few pupils suffer from asthma and we looked at how poor air quality in particular affects people with respiratory conditions.”

Councillor Richardson said: “Clean Air Day is a fantastic, free outdoor event dedicated to highlighting what we can all do to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

“We know that air pollution is bad for our health and that it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our society.

“We’re determined to clean up Glasgow’s air and our trailblazing Low Emission Zone which we introduced last year, is testament to that pledge.”