Buenos Aires is bringing environmental education and local food production skills to underserved neighborhoods throughout the city, ensuring access to healthy eating and sustainability knowledge is not tied to socioeconomic status.

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.

440 Buenos Aires schools have vegetable garden thanks to the Green Schools Program

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.


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

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

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

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

About Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital and most populous city of Argentina. “Buenos aires” can be translated as “fair winds” or “good airs”. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 17 million. Buenos Aires is considered an ‘alpha city’ by the study GaWC5. Buenos Aires’ quality of life was ranked 81st in the world and one of the best in Latin America in 2012, with its per capita income among the three highest in the region. Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and rich cultural life.

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