Quantitative variations of schoolyard sizes

Kautsky, Matilde; (2022) Quantitative variations of schoolyard sizes. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 1638-1645. ISBN 9781914241161

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How are changes in urban principles reflected in the design, size and placement of schools and schoolyards in Stockholm municipality? The aim of this study is to analyse schoolyards and how they vary in size and location in relation to the historical urban morphology development. Lately, schoolyards and specifically the size of schoolyards has become a highly debated topic in Sweden, with reports on the size of school premises shrinking from year to year, or schools even being built without outdoor yards. The reasons for smaller school premises may be ad hoc solutions to a growing population and/or densification of the city. The study includes 143 public compulsory schools in the municipality of Stockholm, primarily with examples from the urban expansion in early 1900 and forward. The size of the schoolyard and the size of the yard in relation to the size of the school building are analysed. In addition, it is highlighted when the school was built and what building character were present at the time. Together with planning regulations and the major urban principles (Stone City, Garden City, Neighbourhood Units, Million Homes Program and the walkable city), the study gives examples of variation over time. This study results in an overview of when public compulsory schools are built in Stockholm, their yard sizes (today) and a brief history of planning regulations. These findings can inform contemporary school design and shed light on the debate about shrinking school premises.