Promoting a local and just green deal. School open spaces as a strategic opportunity for the city in the ecological transition

Keywords: European Green Deal, Public Spaces, Urban regeneration, School Courtyards, School open spaces


Recent global policies like the United Nations 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreements, and European Green Deal emphasise the urgency of sustainable lifestyles, production, and mobility. However, there are associated risks, including the exacerbation of socioeconomic inequalities and an overemphasis on large infrastructure projects. The ongoing debate recognizes the need for a place-based approach, with cities at the core of the European transition and active citizen engagement. European institutions address these challenges through initiatives like the "Green Deal Going Local" by the Committee of the Regions, the European Commission's "Local Green Deals," and the "New European Bauhaus" for cultural and social transition. This paper argues that schools, especially open spaces, can play a key role in implementing a local, sustainable and equitable green deal. They can facilitate participatory processes, promote a sense of citizenship and function as laboratories for green urban regeneration. To verify this hypothesis, the paper examines European policies and best practices in the regeneration of school open spaces in Europe from 2019 to the present. These practices are assessed on the basis of key strategic issues and governance principles for a local and fair transition. Finally, research results are discussed together with potential pathways for the implementation of actions related to the local Green Deal.


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Author Biographies

Maria Rita Gisotti, University of Florence - Department of Architecture

She is architect and PhD, Associate Professor in Urban Planning. She teaches at the School of Architecture at the University of Florence and at the Ecole Euro-méditerranéenne d'Architecture, Design et d’Urbanisme in Fès. Her research interests refer to: schools as pivots of the public city and processes of urban regeneration; the processes of metropolization in the Global South with particular reference to Morocco; landscape planning in Italy; the peri-urban territory from a patrimonial perspective; the protection of the rural landscape, with particular reference to its morphological and aesthetic-cultural qualities.

Benedetta Masiani, DIDA, Department of Architecture University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Architect and PhD student in Urban Planning at the Department of Architecture (DIDA), University of Florence. Her research work investigates the role of public space in informal education processes as well as the function of schools in city regeneration projects.


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How to Cite
GisottiM. R., & MasianiB. (2024). Promoting a local and just green deal. School open spaces as a strategic opportunity for the city in the ecological transition. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, (1), 97-114.