Schools Against Air Pollution

Education & Capacity Building

A cooperation across school types and cities to promote self-organized learning and environmental action

Project Facts

Vienna, Graz, Linz

Applied Financing Solutions
Public-Private Partnership, Public Revenues

Project Dates
Start: 2017 | End: 2021
In operation since/from: 2017

The Story

Sustainability is not only a matter of convenient know-how; it is also a matter of decision and processual learning. This is the reason why 13 Austrian high schools – associated with the government-supported school network ÖKOLOG – put the focus on self-organized learning by exploring and promoting action competence: Within the framework of the 3-cities-project “Schools Against Air Pollution” – comprising technical, business and other vocational and general schools from Vienna, Graz and Linz – students get practical experiences accompanied by theoretical instructions during daily lessons. Teachers moderate the process of developing, implementing and reflecting concrete environmental projects at schools. By this, students and teachers become “agents of change”; the projects become part of regular lessons. In addition, experts and scientific partners offer their knowledge in workshops and public discussions during annual events. Also companies and NGOs provide special assistance.

Students take part in small “think tanks” and develop their own way of reducing CO2 in one of four areas: changing individual behaviour, green cities, new mobility-mix and renewable energy. In this way, for example, surveys on the mobility behavior of young people were carried out, environmental board games were designed and bus shelters were equipped with plants to reduce particulate matter and heat islands in Vienna.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

The school environment is central to creating new ideas and inspiring sustainable structural improvements. The 3-cities-project “Schools Against Air Pollution” promotes these features by using elements of social innovation like the diversity of different school types (technology, agriculture, business, humanities), the motivating cooperation with internal and external partners – and a lot of free space for development.

Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Austria

Other Involved Stakeholders

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Awareness Raising