Let's protect the schools
Schools are places full of life, with a large number of people coming and going every day, including students, teaching staff and parents. Because of this, they need safe and healthy surroundings, with meeting and play areas where there is also less pollution. To this end, Barcelona launched the project Protegim les escoles (Protecting Schools).
What is a protected school?
This is the transformation of a school’s surroundings, putting children’s safety and well-being at the centre through various actions:
- Traffic-calming measures in the area around the school, reducing traffic lanes and speed limits.
- Improved approach routes and access to schools.
- Expansion of areas for people to spend time in and more greenery, with new urban furniture: benches, plant tubs etc.
- Creation of areas for spontaneous play.
- Installation of safety elements.
Which schools will action be taken at?
In total, and taking into account other prior pacification projects, by 2023, 217 schools will have been protected. In regard to pending projects that must be completed to reach that figure, at the end of 2022, work will begin on pacifying 73 education centres, while projects on 17 schools will be carried out in 2023.
You can consult the list and the map of Protecting Schools operations below:
- Check the map (jpg)
- Check the list (jpg)
Further information: One in three schools to have safer and healthier surroundings in 2023
A cross-cutting project
Protecting schools and their surroundings is one of Barcelona City Council's priorities. Besides the measures to protect schools, there are various other action programmes of note. These include:
Climate Shelters: The City Council has carried out work to turn eleven city schools into Climate Shelters, through a project which has received funding from the European Commission's Urban Innovation Action (UIA) programme. The goal is to “adapt schools to climate change through green, blue and grey measures”. The blue measures entail the inclusion of water sources, the green measures, spaces with shade and vegetation, and the grey measures involve improvements to building insulation.
Spaces made available to schools: To help people observe safety distances and combat the transmission of coronavirus, the Barcelona Education Consortium has made 233 municipal spaces available for schools to use (see the list here). These are places which can be put to educational use, either for classroom activities or as open-air playgrounds. The list includes 74 indoor spaces, such as cultural centres or libraries, and 159 outdoor spaces in squares and gardens. Further information.
Escuela Respira is a programme to improve air quality around schools through various tools: urban planning actions, air-quality checks and educational and action programmes to raise awareness among the whole school community.
Escuelas + Sostenibles: This programme started life in 2001 as part of the Citizen Commitment to the Sustainability of Barcelona, the goal being to contribute to sustainability from the perspective of education. The network currently consists of over 350 schools, which have developed a range of initiatives to improve their own schools and the environment.
Public Space Play Plan: This initiative is also one of the ten projects driving the Public Space Play Plan, a programme with a 2030 horizon which aims to transform a city with play areas into a playable city. The goal is to improve and diversify opportunities for play and physical activity in public space, given the significant advantages these hold for the development and well-being of children and teenagers, as well as for health and community life.
School Paths, Friendly Places: After fourteen years in the Barcelona Municipal Institute of Education (IMAB), resulting from the experiences of the “School Path” project started in the Eixample district in 1999, the “School Paths, Friendly Places” project is now in its final stage. However, its purpose continues within the project to protect schools.
Evaluación del programa Protegemos las escuelas realizado por la Agencia de Salud Pública de Barcelona (2023)
News: Work gets under way to transform areas around another 73 schools (9.12.2022)
News: One in three schools to have safer and healthier surroundings in 2023 (14.06.2022)
News: Number of schools in traffic-calmed zones to reach 155 in 2022 (10.10.2021)
News: Work gets under way at the 75 schools to be protected from traffic in 2021 (23.06.2021)
News: Number of schools in traffic-calmed zones to reach 155 in 2022 (8.05.2021)
News: More traffic-free space for 78 schools (20.10.2020)
News: Less pollution and more safety for children in areas around schools (16.09.2020)
News: Transforming areas around twenty schools (28.07.2020)
Documents presented at the session by the Monitoring Board (17.02.2022):
Documents presented at the third session by the Monitoring Board (6.05.2021):
Documents presented at the second session of the Monitoring Board (19.10.2020):
Documents presented at the first session of the Monitoring Board (27.07.2020):
Safer and healthier school surroundings
217 traffic-calmed zones
Measures will be implemented at 217 schools, chosen according to a technical analysis by the City Council.
New squares and meeting areas
Urban measures in areas around schools will help gain large spaces for people to spend time in.
More safety for students
This project will achieve safer and healthier environments for school pupils.