Heat waves, floods, droughts… Extreme climatic events are increasing in Western Europe. How to protect children in schools? A major European project is currently investigating the problem.
Three years to introduce you “climate shelters” in the playgrounds. This is the idea of the “COOLSCHOOLS” project in which several entities participate: European municipal councils, universities, research centers, associations and social cooperatives, international organizations, etc.
Supported by the Open University of Catalonia, the project takes place in four European cities: Barcelona, Brussels, Paris and Rotterdam† The aim of this field study is to combine the natural, biomedical and social sciences to put them at the service of education. It benefits from financing of more than 1.5 million euros for the next three years.
“The launch of this study will allow us to assess aspects such as the relationship between green spaces in playgrounds and students’ cognitive development, the increase in pollinating insects, as well as community access and use of these climate shelters.”
Isabel Ruiz Mallén, environmental scientist leading the project
In the specific case of Barcelona, which is one of the areas of the Mediterranean region most affected by climate change, one of the priorities will be to find solutions for coping with the effects of rising temperatures and increasingly frequent heat waves† This can, for example, result in an expansion of greenery or the installation of water fountains in playgrounds.
“The idea is to consolidate spaces in which students can ‘learn and feel comfortable’ in a context of rising temperatures, and to minimize the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on these environments. It is educational.”
Isabel Ruiz Mallén, environmental scientist
Other types of initiatives will also be taken, such as the improvement of playgrounds, better access to water, more sustainable furniture and the promotion of more inclusive education on the issue of gender.
(ETX Daily Up)