The ‘Escola respira’ programme includes various measures to fight pollution in the school environment, with air-quality checks, more plants and cultivation patches in playgrounds and work to make school surroundings and approach routes more pleasant.
Young children are particularly vulnerable when it comes to air pollution, which can cause pneumonia, asthma, otitis and problems with physical movement or mental development.
The ‘Escola respira’ programme sets out various measures to minimise the risks and turn school environments into healthier places.
What do we breathe?
Twenty schools are taking part in the first edition of the programme to observe and measure air quality inside each centre and around approach routes.
Pupils in their first two years of secondary school are taking part.
More greenery at school
The introduction of more plants, cultivation patches, flowers and green walls around school playgrounds will help improve air quality and reduce the temperature in the hottest months.
During the current academic year, five schools will be creating green walls and a plan will be implemented to turn ten schools into climate refuges.
A healthier school environment
Sustainable mobility and urban adaptation measures in school environments make getting to and from school healthier.
Work is therefore being done on various projects to create eco-friendly spaces at the entrance to schools to keep cars further away and generate a safe drop-off and collection zone. Nearly ninety schools also now form part of the ‘Camí escolar, espai amic’ programme promoting and indicating the healthiest and safest approach routes to schools.
Bus services have also been established to school areas in neighbourhoods in Sarrià and Les Corts and trials have been conducted at some schools to gauge the benefits of cutting traffic when pupils enter and leave school.
More education and better management
Achieving a society which is more committed to urban sustainability means raising awareness among new generations. This is the goal of the new air-quality and mobility guide and other teaching resources which schools can request.
A set of recommendations will also be compiled on design, construction materials, ventilation, greenery and mobility to conceive school buildings and renovation according to criteria which minimises exposure to air pollution.
Full information on the programme can be found on the ‘Escola respira’ website.