Buenos Aires is bringing environmental education and local food production skills to its underserved neighborhoods, promoting access to healthy eating and sustainability knowledge for all youth.

The Challenge

Buenos Aires faces a number of challenges associated with climate change and urbanization, notably air and water pollution particularly in underprivileged neighborhoods. The Green Schools Program aims to alleviate socioeconomic inequalities in the city and boost climate resilience by focusing on environmental education and equipping the city’s low-income youth with waste management and urban gardening skills.

The Solution

Buenos Aires’ Green Schools Program seeks to provide the city’s youth, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, with education about four key sustainability themes: integrated waste management, environmental health, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and climate change. The program offers both direct learning opportunities for students, as well as strategies to improve the teaching methods around these themes. The program is already achieving impressive results. In 2016, more than 2,500 schools and 588,000 students had already participated in the Green Schools Program’s integrated waste management initiative, and more than 16,000 supervisors, managers, teachers, and assistants were trained under Green Schools Program principles. One-fourth of the program’s resources are dedicated specifically to Buenos Aires’ poorer southern neighborhoods, ensuring that socioeconomic disparities do not impact environmental education. These targeted programs include the creation of hydroponics gardens at schools near the polluted Mantanza River, in order to avoid the area’s heavily contaminated soil, and ensuring students not only have access to healthy, fresh, and safe food, but also learn about the importance of safe waste disposal and gardening practices.

Environmental Benefits – Under the program, 35 schools have renewable energy installations and six boast green roofs.

Social Benefits – The Green Schools Program encourages all schools, students, and teachers to share their experiences in order to improve services and outcomes.

Economic Benefits – The program helps schools save money by reducing electricity, water, and energy use expenses.

Health Benefits – By learning the principles of gardening, hydroponics, and local food production, students are introduced to healthy eating and sustainability practices.

About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Health
  • Social
Key Impact
440 Buenos Aires schools have vegetable gardens thanks to the Green Schools Program
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