Bitwa na kilometry was undoubtedly a most energizing adventure for all 30 days - from mid-September to mid-October and activated entire families, generations, schools and neighborhoods for more walking and cycling instead of using the car, mainly for short distance trips. The event was based on the model of Beat-the-Street campaign by Intelligent Health, where technology supports people's travel choices.
171 383.5 kilometres was travelled collectively during the campaign, which resulted in 3, 427,670 points collected by the three primary school communities in Gdansk. That distance equals over 4.3 trips around the world… all in just 30 days.
Out of 4,269 active participants 53,8% were schoolchildren and 46,2% adults – teachers and parents. Statistically they all made 5,700 km of active travels per day and an average of 40 km by each active participant. If such a distance would be made by car, the air in Gdansk would get an additional dose of 46,450 kg of CO2, which is as much as 25,340 trees are able to absorb in 30 days. To sum up SWITCH campaign was a great victory at every step.
All schools from beginning to end were supported in their efforts and special initiatives. They organized special weekend and evening walks, healthy diet and lifestyle days and group jogging PE lessons. The atmosphere was great and the rivalry very fierce, but in the end all schools were invited on the podium. The final scoreboard presenting track of points and kilometres gathered offers certainly an amazing picture of schools contention, but nothing reflects neither the energy nor the emotions that Bitwa has offered to its participants.
A few days after the end of the campaign the Deputy Mayor of Gdansk - during specially organized schools assemblies - congratulated the participants of Bitwa na kilometry and handed the awards, which were incentives for keeping the active travel.
This kind of campaigns was already implemented in the British, Italian, American, Australian and Japanese cities. Each time, they aroused much emotion and mobilized residents to more active lifestyle. Nevertheless, the achievements of Gdansk put the city in the very forefront.