Paris, France

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Photo by CAUE de Paris.

Initiative: OASIS Schoolyard Project

World Green City Awards 2022 Logo
City:Paris
Country:France
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Paris, as one of the most symbolic capital cities worldwide, and an attraction pole for multi-cultural exchanges, is a pioneer on innovative actions for developing public policies. In the last years, the city has launched several long-term programs, proving the importance that the administration gives to climate change management in the city. The Climate Plan, The Resilience Strategy, and the “15-minute city” plan are some examples of that willing.

One of the programs that emerged from those initiatives is the Oasis Schoolyard’s project, launched in 2018, and powered by the City of Paris. The project seeks to renew, dynamize and green the existing public schoolyards by improving their thermal conditions, responding simultaneously to multiple urban issues such as the lack of green areas within the city, the design of appropriate public spaces for children growing up in the city and in general the enhancement of citizens’ quality of life. This includes an active work in community cohesion improvement, which is achieved by providing to the local community free access to the schoolyards on Saturdays. By December 2021, 72 schoolyards had been transformed, and the City’s goal is to reach all 770 kindergarten, elementary and middle schools by 2050.

Furthermore, the three traditional pillars of sustainability are integrated: the environmental pillar, by improving and creating green spaces in the city, tackling heat island effects, and by using local eco-materials. The social pillar by improving social networks between the school’s community and their neighbourhood, through public equipment accessibility, co-creation and participatory workshops. Integration of all children is enhanced through free game and cooperative group play, reinforcing the children’s soft skill and social cohesion in general. Lastly, the economical pillar is addressed by improving the city’s attractivity and life quality, by creating a new model of urban green interventions, and by prioritising a circular and local economy scheme, prioritizing small-scale interactions.

In terms of financing, Oasis project’s budget is assured by the City of Paris, the State of France, and the Seine Normandy Water Agency. In addition, from 2019 to 2021, the project received funding of the UE European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) up to around 5 M€, through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.  Thanks to this budget, and as Oasis schoolyards were created as a new possible model for cities, technical evaluations are made to measure its impact. Thus, temperature measures by Météo France and scientific partners laboratories are being collected, to analyse variations in the renewed schoolyards. Sociological studies are also being made, to measure the impacts on children who use the schoolyards, in terms of gender segregation, multiplication of playing activities and interaction with natural elements, among others. 

Oasis schoolyards have attracted the attention of many cities in and out of France, looking to replicate it in their urban areas. This is a major prove of its innovative and pertinent approach to the current urban challenges.

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