Cities are taking the initiative to reclaim vehicular spaces for people and build safer, more comfortable and attractive places for pedestrians and active mobility. The European Project FURNISH-KIDS aims to redesign public urban spaces and tailor them to children’s needs.

In the framework of this initiative, using a collaborative process to gain insights from a local community of kids, IAAC has created a child-friendly Mobile Urban Element on the Gran Via Avenue of Barcelona using 0km wood sustainably harvested from the local forest of IAAC’s Valldaura Labs in the Collserola Natural Park. The City Council has recognized the installation’s success in bringing nature to the city by calling the project “El Cargol” or “The Snail”.

Developed by IAAC students in collaboration with CARNET, The Future Mobility Research Hub, the Barcelona City Council and supported by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT) Urban Mobility group, this space serve as an outdoor classroom, music performance venue and gathering area. The project has the potential to promote happiness, safety, health and well-being for all present users, as well as to shape more resilient and conscious citizens of the future.

Cities are envisioning a change in the use of public space. The new ways of moving and reclaiming space for citizens triggered the conversion of areas that were occupied by private cars into new open spaces. This newly gained public space might be a safe place for children throughout the city. To improve the liveability of these new spaces with a specific focus on children, the FURNISH-KIDS project aims to develop new liveable spaces using prototyping within a co-creation process with local communities.

The prototype just built by IAAC students from the Master in Advanced Ecological Buildings & Biocities – MAEBB, in the public space of Gran Via Avenue – Glòries in Barcelona, was developed with kids from a focus age group range from 6 to 12 years old, and will be tested by end users. This is achieved through a sequence of collaborative workshops developed by the partners together with local communities in Barcelona and in Milan.