Trend Watch February 2021

Should outdoor learning in schools be compulsory?

Over the past 20 years the term outdoor learning (OL) has evolved and gained pace, showing positive effects on school children’s development with participation on a weekly basis, writes Joe Bogumsky for Outlearn.

In 2016 Plymouth University delivered The Natural Connections Demonstration project, the UK’s largest OL project, and found new evidence showing benefits of OL for schools relating to health, wellbeing and development for students – with additional positive impacts for teachers and the wider school community.

To support schools and teachers to set up and run effective, sustained OL programs, the authors provide guides for getting started, policy and curriculum planning.

See the article on Outlearn.

A green transformation for the ‘world’s most beautiful avenue’

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has green-lit plans for a $305 million ‘extraordinary garden’ by architects PCA-Stream, running along the Champs Elysées and roughly halving the space allotted to cars, with planted ‘living rooms’ and more small-scale shops.

The project, ‘Re-Enchanting the Champs Elysées,’ due for completion by 2030, is arguably overdue says Feargus O’Sullivan, writing for Bloomberg CityLab.

According to designers PCA-Stream, the Champs Elysées has an image problem among Parisians – who think of it as touristy and an assembly point for large international chain stores, akin to an airport.

PCA-Stream says it aims to bring back a promenade experience, with flâneurs strolling along the historic boulevard in greater comfort thanks to a reduction in motor traffic.

They also have plans for green spaces – “planted ‘living rooms’ will offer spaces to take breaks.”

“The gardens and the port of the Champs-Élysées, which are nowadays all but forgotten by Parisians, have extraordinary potential for new green spaces and to offer a place of experience and contemplation,” the architects say.

“In the gardens, now newly accessible and freed from the nuisances brought about by car traffic, an exciting program is rolled out based around fine cuisine, sports, well-being, arts and sciences, with playgrounds to accommodate families and children. A varied range of plants augments the biodiversity using species that are adapted to climate warming and which provide shade and freshness to pedestrians.”

Read more about the design philosophy and plans in their The Champs-Élysées – history and perspectives study.

Etoile promenade concept by PCA-STREAM. Image: PCA-STREAM.


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