Medium_03_picture_contact_person_silvia_weidenbacher_-_kopie Green living room goes to school

01 Apr 17:38

Silvia Weidenbacher

The TURAS Green Living Room helps bring climate change to life for students in Germany

What’s the purpose of the green object just two streets from their grammar school? Some students from the eleventh grade of the Goethe-Gymnasium in Ludwigsburg have already taken a break there in Summer. Most of those who attend the geography lessons of their teacher Sybille Gramer know it at least from strolling by on their way to the city center. But how is this green walls construction connected to climate change adaption and making cities more resilient?

In order to show her class the relevance of the green living room and to raise awareness of the challenges of climate change and urban sprawl for their own environment, Silvia Weidenbacher from Verband Region Stuttgart was invited to hold a lecture about those topics.

Starting with the “Green living room movie” the students got an easy introduction to the topic. Asked for a feedback to the video the overall response was that they felt well informed and at the same time entertained. In the student’s opinion teaching should be more often like that! The presentation which followed was harder to grasp but they all managed well. The urban heat island effect was the starting point to show the need and the potentials for adaption to that facet of climate change.
The students talked about their own experience with heat and their strategies to avoid it or to cope with it. They discussed the necessity of urban green infrastructure and agreed on the strategic approach to use the green infrastructure network of a city as a backbone for adaption. The group was also very interested in the European aspect of TURAS of sharing experiences, outcomes and solutions. Learning from each other appeared very reasonable to them. One student, having been on holidays to Rome and experiencing the full impact of summer in a southern metropolitan city suggested that the city of Rome should as well implement green living rooms and green walls to create urban comfort zones for citizens and visitors.

The lively discussion showed that talking about “real life” experiences and solutions instead of repeating the “normal” curriculum can be very helpful to raise awareness. For the students of the Goethe-Gymnasium the abstract matter of climate change and urban heat island effect became an understandable problem concerning their everyday lives.

Keywords: Schools heat effects,