“Open Space” Trading Cards hit the streets in Barcelona

By on May 29, 2011.

As a way to allow kids to explore the city they live in, Barcelona has created a “Raons Publiques” trading card series. This free program was introduced to elementary range schools in Barcelona with an interactive approach. The overall series is divided in to colors based on the location of the plaza or park with each card containing a location aerial , site information, site statistics. The back of each card contains the interactive aspect of this program. For each card there are questions such as “How many trees are there?”, “How many benches are there?”. I’d say the questions are not too enticing for children but a website is set up where the children can upload pictures and experiences for each site. As a city with so much to offer this program is a beautiful way to expose younger generations to the diversity of their hometown and also to keep spaces relevant by allowing older projects to be rediscovered.

As silly as it seems, the concept of mixing trading cards with civic identity deserves high praise. What better way to create that identity than to start with young minds? Obviously not every child will be interested in this game but it is this type of activity that can help light the fire for those certain individuals that will grow up to create and protect these spaces. Aside from that, this just seems like a fun way to help education outside of school.  The success of this program is not yet determined, however, I believe this can be translated to many cities including here in the States. Large cities can use it as part of school programming but I also think this could be a fantastic tourism opportunity as expansion to parks, historic places, and iconic elements can all be a part of this. With all the craze about the lack of time kids spend outside and the monotonous standardized forms of education today, this offers a breath of fresh air that touches upon the world of design.

Marco Ancheita recently received a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida and is a contributing writer to Landscape Invocation. He is currently a Master’s student of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His interests and goals lie in the realm of Urban Design;he is firm believer that successful urban design requires a true multidisciplinary approach and, even more, a multidisciplinary education.


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