The Institute of Infancy and Adolescence of Barcelona evaluates, on behalf of the Municipal Institute of Education of Barcelona (IMEB), the social return of the school grounds open to the neighborhood and the school roads. Beyond the immediate needs that these projects solve, they also aim to strengthen the relationship of the educational network with the dynamics of the territory and, therefore, have an impact on the socialization of care in its community.
These are two projects that contribute to an organization of the city space from a logic of care, especially with regard to the needs of children. The school path, a friendly road program, managed by the IMEB, aims to enable children from 8 years of age to gain personal autonomy and quality of life, while promoting community participation. There are now roads throughout the city thanks to the collaboration of hundreds of schools. From the point of view of the democratization of care, the roads contribute to the families not having to take care exclusively of the accompaniment of children, socializing a part of the care from the community network. They also facilitate a better management of the time of adults who do not have to adapt their schedules to the accompaniment of the children.
On the other hand, the school grounds open to the neighborhood are school spaces that open to public use for citizenship outside school hours, both at the weekend and during school holidays. The project arose in 2011 from the Direction of the Program of Time and Quality of Life, within the framework of the program Tiempo de Barrio, shared educational time, Intervention from the proximity. The courtyards provide safe spaces and proximity, adapted to the needs of children, and have a monitoring service as well as educational activities. These are promoted by the IMEB, with the collaboration of the Education Consortium of Barcelona, the Jaume Bofill Foundation and several entities of the city.
The evaluation of both projects has centered on the one hand, by contrasting its own functioning and organization and, on the other hand, by discovering the impact of these practices on different actors – educational community, territorial agents and municipal administration – Their quality of life and the reduction of social inequalities, starting from the idea of social return. Evaluation, therefore, goes beyond the economic profitability of the projects and seeks the social benefits they produce. In this sense, it is necessary to highlight the impact that the projects have on the welfare of the people and the quality of life in the neighborhoods. The results will be presented soon.