BARCELONA – Barcelona wants to prevent schoolyards from becoming concrete places where football is king. The aim is to make the courtyards greener with more shade, wooden decking and pergolas, and a diversity of play options.
However, the transformations must be realised through collaboration between the municipal authorities, teachers, students, and their families as well as sports and leisure associations. Twelve schoolyards will get their makeover this summer. These will then be added to the 11 squares that were transformed last year into climate shelters for local residents in the event of a heatwave. After the reform, the schoolyards will be opened to local residents during holidays, weekends, and public holidays.
The municipality announced in El País that 150 trees have been planted in four blocks. Furthermore, an investment of €2.5million will be involved in the refurbishment of the schoolyards. And a further 15 squares will be transformed next year. However, the city council wants to emphasise that enough space remains on each improved square for sports during school hours. And can also be used after school.
According to Maria Truñó, the alderman for education, and responsible for the programme, the schoolyard should be seen more as a learning environment. It should have much more potential than the traditional squares. And this will be through educational projects, and other opportunities for learning, games, and sports activities.
Truño also believes every opportunity should be taken to add greenery to the city’s public spaces and amenities. More trees and more soil and grass are needed.
With regard to breaking football’s hegemony, there has been a debate about the size of the sports field. Sources at the Catalan Football Federation (FCF) say they are not aware of the project. But believe it should not affect federation activity. In this regard, they point out, however, that “the clubs are having problems growing due to the lack of football fields in Barcelona.”