Towards a green school yard , the Marcel Pagnol school project in Nice

In the context of the necessary adaptation to climate change, the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolis has decided to draw inspiration from the experiments launched by member cities of the "100 Resilient Cities" network such as Genoa, Montreal and Paris, which have demonstrated the effectiveness of nature-based solutions, notably the OASIS project developed by the city of Paris to fight against islands of heat in schools.

This is why the metropolis has launched a "Greening Schools" mission to experiment with solutions that can eventually be deployed in the 154 schools owned by the city.

In order to co-construct the project with all the members of the educational community: teachers, technical team, rectors, parents and students, and to test its acceptability, NCA, with the support of the NFCL project, wanted to define a mobilization method in the Marcel Pagnol school located in the Ariane district, the pilot school for this project.

This school group, under the impetus of its headmaster, is very committed to the subjects of sustainable development and the environment and has devoted its 2019-2020 educational project to this subject by mobilizing all the parent with specific discussion groups and by appointing one child in each class to monitor the project.

The aim was to restore the school's large courtyard with 3,500 m² of waterproof soil while maintaining its original uses: football pitch, playgrounds and sports areas, vegetable garden, etc. "The idea is to bring nature to the feet of the classrooms".

4 workshops were organized between 14 October 2019 and 13 February 2020 with the aim of increasing competence and appropriation by the co-construction of the educational community to the challenges of nature in the city and the services provided in terms of adaptation to climate change. But also by promoting  exchanges with the operational services of the metropolis and to allow a better understanding of their constraints.

Each workshop brought together between 30 and 50 participants: pupils - all levels concerned from kindergarten to CM2; teachers and maintenance staff, parents, metropolitan services and the NFCL project team.

The first two workshops were devoted to "speaking the same language" about nature in the city, by asking participants to give the words that come to them when we talk about nature in their schoolyard? and by interventions by technicians from the metropolis v: what is a heat island, how can we make the courtyard watertight, what are the prerequisites.

This time also allowed everyone, and especially the children, to define their desires for this project, to draw the dream schoolyard.

The two other workshops enabled the children to translate their wishes into projects in the form of feasible sketches, explaining at each stage what is possible and what is impossible by working in groups on specific areas of the courtyard: the wall of the gymnasium, the vegetable garden/green spaces "If there are no strawberries, it's not a vegetable garden", the Agora, but also on the involvement of the educational community and the pupils, both in the construction/design and in the maintenance of the green spaces. "You need someone to make sure that the insects don't eat everything".

For the school headmaster "The yard greening project will be the backbone of our school project".