Barcelona

Climate adaptation

GBG_AS2C - Blue, Green & Grey_Adapting Schools to Climate Change

« It’s absolutely urgent for the future and for the sustainability of cities that there really is an initiative shared by everyone in the fight against climate change »

Janet Sanz, Vice-Mayor for Ecology, Barcelona City Hall
The project in numbers
4.500
kids will benefit from the pilot investments in their school
1.350
kids will benefit during summer camps hosted in schools playgrounds
3.000m2
of schoolyards will be transformed
4.500m2
of urban green areas will be added
EUR 3,997,969.76
Total ERDF budget granted
Challenge addressed

Being a compact city of 1.6 million inhabitants with hot and humid climate in summer, Barcelona is particularly exposed to the heat island effect, while at the same time experiences a low degree of adaptation to heat of many infrastructures, equipment and public spaces. 
This reality is to be considered in the perspective of the climate predictions that foresee heat waves phenomena to get stronger, longer and more recurrent. For instance in 2100, the City will experience 30 additional warm days above 30ºC per year, and an increase of extreme temperatures by 3.5ºC up to 42.8ºC.
In this context, the GBG_AS2C project aims to prepare the City of Barcelona to face predicted increasingly high temperatures in summer that would severely affect the city and its inhabitants -especially vulnerable ones- as a consequence of Climate Change. 

Solution proposed

The GBG_AS2C project solution relies on a package of measures to adapt schools to climate change. By nature, schools are relevant spaces where actions can be implemented to adapt the city to climate change for the benefit of all. Any action carried out in schools will be maximized considering the vulnerable population they host, as well as their low level of adaptation to heat due to infrastructures precariousness. Moreover, not only their spatial distribution in the city ensures great capillarity and penetration in the communities, but they also offer the possibility for continuous use throughout the year. 
Therefore, schools playgrounds will be transformed into climate shelters and be open to the wider public in non-school period. Playground transformation will be operated through a threefold intervention - Green, Blue, and Grey - essentially articulated around the introduction of an aquatic (blue) component at the heart of the cities, as accessible municipal recreational point of refreshment. This will be combined with greening and applying traditional solutions (grey) to school facilities in order to combat heat. 
Next to the infrastructure interventions, different processes will be implemented together with the school communities in order to raise Climate Change awareness. Especially, the participatory processes of playgrounds transformation as well as the adoption of an educational project including teachers training and the involvement of students and school professionals in the health impact assessment.

Partnership
  • Barcelona City Council
  • Public Health Agency of Barcelona - sectoral agency
  • Barcelona Consortium of Education
  • Barcelona Cycle of Water - Public Service Provider
  • Barcelona Institute for Global Health - Higher Education and Research Institute
  • Institute for Environmental Science and Technology UAB - Higher Education and Research Institute
  • Vila Olimpica School
Expected results
  • A network of 10 Schools adapted to the Climate change as key-pilot with the goal to replicate the project to all the schools in the city. 
  • Healthier, Playful and more inclusive schools:  improving school experiences by promoting the diversity of games, genders, capacities and the contact with nature, abandoning the traditional and segregator model of hard schoolyards.
  • Major Climate Justice: Creation of climate shelters with green and blue spaces, fun and refreshing, that will become part of the Climate Shelter Network planned by the Climate Plan to promote the Climate Justice.
  • Coherent city of community base: Open courtyards to the community where it benefits of the blue and green, creating a space of empowering intergenerational and intercultural bonds.
  • Citizens aware and responsibility for Climate Change: with the support of the pedagogical project and the participatory process of the school community, the measures will have even more power of awareness and dissemination among students and families.
  • Sustainable city:  No waste of water will be produced by the aquatic facilities, conversely, traditional Arabic solutions will be replicated for water reuse for irrigation.
  • Blue city: Inclusion of the schools adaptation to the climate change on the municipal budgets of Measure to scale. The assessment in terms of health, communication and replicability will be essential to collect and disseminate the success of the process.
  • Blue world: expecting that the project relevance can be used as educational and transformative tool for other cities. 
Main milestones

May 2019: technical feasibility studies regarding the blue, green and grey adaptation measures to the climate change for school equipment, and reports carried out. 
February 2019: design of multicriteria matrix for prioritization and adhesion criteria of pilot schools.
February 2019: naturalised schoolyards benchmarking. Collection of local and international experiences of courtyards transformation for its naturalization. 
August 2021: 10 schools converted into climate refugees. Creation of a Climate Shelters net of external refuges. Opening of schools to a wider public through an "Open Courtyards" programme.
October 2021: educational project ‘Schools adapted to the climate change’. Increase of the collective awareness of the Climate Change. 
October 2021: good practices report. Best practices compilation from the UIA expert, congresses and networks. 
 

The project in numbers
4.500
kids will benefit from the pilot investments in their school
1.350
kids will benefit during summer camps hosted in schools playgrounds
3.000m2
of schoolyards will be transformed
4.500m2
of urban green areas will be added
EUR 3,997,969.76
Total ERDF budget granted
Contact of the project
Enric Cremades Pastor
Project manager, Coordinator of European Funds at Urban Ecology Area

Media

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