Barcelona combats heat in playgrounds with shade canopies

Barcelona combats heat in playgrounds with shade canopies

In response to the growing challenge of heat in urban areas during the summer months, Barcelona has demonstrated its commitment to protecting its youngest citizens. The recent approval by the Barcelona City Council’s Governing Committee for the installation of shade canopies in 20 playgrounds is a significant step towards creating safer and healthier environments for children enjoying the outdoors.

These shade systems, designed to provide heat relief and protection from the sun’s rays, will consist of awnings that will be installed on metal column structures. This measure will be applied seasonally, specifically during the summer months when temperatures reach higher levels, and will be removed during the winter to adapt to changing weather conditions.

The decision to implement awnings on playgrounds stems from a pressing need to address high temperatures and ensure thermal comfort for children, who are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of extreme heat. Providing shaded areas where children can play safely and comfortably is essential for their physical and emotional well-being, as well as for encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle from an early age.

In addition to protecting children from excessive heat, the installation of shade canopies will also help to create more welcoming and attractive spaces for families, thus encouraging the use of playgrounds and promoting social interaction and outdoor play. This initiative reflects Barcelona City Council’s commitment to creating more livable and resilient urban environments, where the health and well-being of its citizens, especially the youngest, are a priority.

Shade canopies to combat the heat in playgrounds

The initiative, which is expected to be fully implemented by the summer of 2025, has been enthusiastically received by residents and local authorities.

The deputy mayor for Urban Planning, Ecological Transition, Urban Services and Housing, Laia Bonet, stressed the importance of ensuring that children can enjoy the playgrounds without being affected by the excessive heat.

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The selection process of the playgrounds that will receive these shade systems was carried out after an exhaustive analysis of the level of radiation in each play area, as well as the available play offer.

Twenty areas were pre-selected, evenly distributed throughout the city, with two play areas per district.

The selected parks

Among the shortlisted playgrounds are some of the city’s most popular spaces, such as the Plaça de Sant Miquel in Ciutat Vella, the Jardins de la Indústria in Eixample and the Parc de la Unitat in Horta-Guinardó. However, the list is subject to possible changes based on design or construction considerations.

The selected shade systems are characterized by their modularity and adaptability to different urban situations, ensuring their effectiveness and functionality in a variety of environments.

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In addition, special attention has been paid to safety, with the use of die-cut fabrics to avoid the sail effect and ensure protection from the sun.

Thetotal cost of the project is estimated at 918,455 euros, which will cover the manufacture of the devices and their subsequent installation. The initiative reflects Barcelona’s commitment to creating more sustainable and livable urban environments, especially in a context of climate change and rising temperatures.

The installation of shade canopies will also contribute to creating safer and more comfortable spaces for the entire community and adapted to the needs of today’s climate.