OASIS - School yards: Openness, Adaptation, Sensitisation, Innovation and Social ties: Design and transformation of local urban areas adapted to climate change, working jointly with users
“A year after releasing Paris first ever Resilience Strategy, the city is well underway with creating opportunities out of the identified challenges, building a stronger, more equitable, more sustainable, and ultimately more resilient city. Opening the first of many heat-adapted schoolyards to come is a great testament to the progress made. It is our hope that Paris response to the challenges the city faces can serve as a model for other cities on a global scale”
Paris will experience warmer summers and more intense and frequent heatwaves, which will occur on longer periods, between June and September. In Paris, by the end of the century, Météo-France projects an average annual temperature increase of 1 ° C to 4 ° C for a reference value of 12.4 ° C today, and 10 to 25 days of heatwave a year against 1 day per year on average currently.
The heatwaves are amplified by the phenomenon of Urban Heat Island (UHI), caused by the density of buildings, the mineral and impervious characteristics of infrastructure materials, which multiplies their consequences. The heatwave of 2003 caused 70 000 deaths in Western Europe, with an excess mortality in Paris of 141% in the first two weeks of August, compared with the average of the same period between 2000 and 2002, and 1070 deaths directly attributable to the heatwave. The contribution of the UHI to this disaster was established a posteriori by the Public Health authorities in France. Thus, it is necessary to sustainably refresh the dense urban spaces and protect the most vulnerable populations.
Climate change will also cause an increase in the frequency of heavy rainfall as well as a 10 to 15%, increase of the risk of flooding. It is therefore essential to infiltrate, store and better absorb the water, which will also help reduce the heat through evapotranspiration.
These challenges cannot be met without raising awareness and engaging citizens, from an early age, in the design and management of their direct urban environment.
Social cohesion is a key factor of resilience. International literature suggests that regardless of the crises and disasters that the territories undergo, their capacity for resilience is determined by that of their inhabitants to know each other and help each other, therefore by the social bonds. Demographic trends, like current and future migratory phenomena, and the aging of the population - in Paris, the share of the over-60s has increased by 13% between 2007 and 2014 - cannot be treated without observing climatic hazards and the need to strengthen social cohesion.
It is therefore imperative, in a dense city like Paris, which lacks spaces for breathing and conviviality, to design, use and manage facilities in a different way.
OASIS, dealing with the co-design and co-building of neighbourhood facilities adapted to climate change, will aim to raise awareness, educate and engage citizens, young and old, in improving their own daily urban environment. This implies a renewal of uses, towards more diversity and appropriation of these proximity spaces by the all the people.
In the inner city, there are only 5.8 m² of green spaces per capita. The network of 656 schools and 115 highschools managed by the city presents an opportunity. The majority of Parisians live within 200 meters of these places which they can easily identify (this is where their kids go to school, where they vote, etc.). In total, schoolyards cover 73 hectares of asphalted and impervious surfaces, which participate in the heat island effect and do not favour the management of rainwater. In addition, most of them are closed outside of school and extracurricular hours.
Transforming Paris schoolyards is an opportunity to provide answers to climate and social challenges.
The OASIS project plans to transform 10 schoolyards into cool islands through innovative techniques, nature based solutions, in an integrated approach
The transformations will emerge through a co-design process carried out with the pupils and the educational community, and develop the corresponding methodological tools. The results of this process will assist the City in defining the specifications for such interventions. This will be built with the expertise of a wide range of stakeholders, in an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach, to develop innovative technical solutions as well as opportunities to engage with the communities of the neighbourhoods.
OASIS’ innovation lies primarily in the search for eco-innovative products to create cool islands: materials (infiltration, thermal performance, and low carbon footprint), rainwater recovery systems, nature-based solutions adapted to risks (shading, evapotranspiration, drought resistance, non-allergenic), furniture (shade, play areas, cabins) in local manufacturing, water games and fountains. The innovation of OASIS also lies in the process developed to co-design and mobilize collective intelligence of neighbours, of all ages, to define and better manage local facilities. Hence, OASIS proposes the emergence of new models of micro-local governance, with methods for local actors’ empowerment.
OASIS is a fertile island welcoming nature and humans. In a metaphorical sense, it becomes a hospitable refuge amid the pressures of the urban environment.
- City of Paris
- ESIEE - higher education and research institute
- LIEPP - higher education and research institute
- CAUE de Paris - Architecture, Urban Planning and Environment public service provider
- Ligue de l’enseignement - Federation of Paris (LIGUE) - education association
- Meteo France - meteorological and climatological institute
The results of OASIS will reduce health risks associated with heatwaves and foster social cohesion at the neighbourhood level.
Firstly, OASIS will provide cool islands and reduce the urban heat island effect. This implies a decrease in the temperatures and an improvement of the summer comfort in the schoolyards. The surface materials selected in this perspective will also enhance rainwater management through infiltration. The development of the green and blue infrastructures is also expected within the project.
A new governance and participative management of local public facilities will be developed. The co-design methodology will be integrated in the practices of civil servants and transmitted to other local authorities.
OASIS also aims to raise awareness, educate people on climate change and develop participatory responses in what regards adaptation. Children, civil servants, inhabitants, educational communities, and all the actors involved, will develop knowledge on the challenges related to climate change, and the solutions within their reach to deal with it.
Eventually, we expect the project to reinforce social bonds in the neighbourhood, by offering new accessible spaces, developing new activities and implementing an inclusive democratic protocol. This will lead to a collective commitment and create new spaces of conviviality at the local scale. This will be measured by the different kind of schoolyard uses during school and extracurricular hours.
S1 2019: development of pedagogical and co-design tools
S2 2019: co-design and contributive protocol to define a program for each of the 10 schoolyards
S3 2020: preparation of innovative specifications and solutions to create cool islands
S4 2020: transformation of the schoolyards – public works
S5 2021: development of new uses in the schoolyards during school and extracurricular time
S6 2021: formulation of results and tools for scalability and transferability
All along the program, evaluation and communication actions will be undertaken.