Re-Fresh!: Let's adapt to global warming with cool islands

RE-FRESH addresses one of the Eramus+ programme policy priorities i.e. environmental sustainability and fighting against climate change. Plus, it tackles two specific objectives within the VET sector, namely   contributing to innovation and increasing the flexibility of opportunities. To achieve these, the project partners will mitigate global warming effects in urban areas by enabling trainers and trainees to increase their skills, by supplementing existing sillabuses, and by creating a global teaching scenario focusing on cool islands.

EN-Funded by the EU-BLACK

START DATE: 01/11/2023
END DATE: 30/04/2026

TOTAL BUDGET: 400,000.00 €

PROJECT CODE: 2023-1-FR01-KA220-VET-000166643


In June 2021, as part of the Green Pact for Europe, EU environment ministers adopted conclusions endorsing the new EU strategy to adapt to climate change. One of the measures covers “nature-based solutions to help build resilience to climate change and protect ecosystems”.

Heat waves are intimately linked to climate change and its interrelated rise of temperatures. Moreover, urban planning, regular building materials and city infrastructures absorb the heat amplifying the impact of those waves. Consequently, higher temperatures during a heat wave usually occur in urban areas. Logically, that causes discomfort for city dwellers as opposed to those who live in rural areas, and, if the  phenomenon persists over time, it can affect human health.

In the REFRESH project, the partners would like to do their part in adapting to global warming by enabling European trainers of the building and landscape sectors to increase their skills and their competencies by supplementing existing syllabuses and providing them with tools to train the trainees with the creation of an innovative teaching scenario focusing on cool islands.

As opposed to “heat islands”, cool islands are places of welcome, stopping and/or rest open to the public and are a source of refreshment compared to their immediate environment during warm or scorching hot periods. Cool islands use various solutions to reduce urban overheating and improve hte thermal comfort of citizens: “green and blue solutions” which come from the services that nature provides (trees water, etc.), “grey solutions” based on urban infrastructure (materials, orientation, etc.) and “soft solutions” relating to the uses of city dwellers.

The aim is for the partners – with their local resources and the people concerned – to transform an artificial and highly mineralised urban space into an island of freshness and learn from that experimentation. Later on, the cool islands will be used for dissemination.

Users of cool islands will be sensitized and inclusive awareness-raising device will be produced.

Project Partners

Expected results

  • Observation grid for existing cool islands.
  • Collection of best practices.
  • Jobmapping of stakeholders.
  • Paedagogical engineering for the Learning Training and teaching activity in Lisbon (C1).
  • Video capsules produced.
  • Guidelines to create, build and maintain a Cool island.
  • Actual construction of the islands.
  • Inclusive educational tools in-site developed.
  • Matrix draft for future creations.
  • Video capsules produced.
  • Feedback for the guidelines.
  • Competence inventory for the design, construction and maintenance of a cool island.
  • Identification of competencies that are complementary to the existing repositories.
  • 1 module to complete the vocational training referentials (for the construction and horticulture sector), levels 3 to 4 of the CEC.
  • 1 module to complete the vocational training referential for maintenance agent, levels 3 to 4 of the CEC.
  • An accessible digital paedagogical scenario for trainees of VET education, levels 3 to 4 of the CEC.
  • Digitization of the scenario for a distance implementation or in hybrid mode.

Dissemination of the project

First step: Kick Off Meeting in Paris

In January 2024, a team from IDEA Alzira composed of management, training and European Projects staff travelled to Paris (France) to participate in the Kick Off Meeting of this project.

This cycle of meetings was to organise this project with a budget of 400000€; spread over 30 months for the training of teachers, the creation of cool islands and the creation of learning and certification modules for the courses given by the different participating organisations, including IDEA Alzira.

In these meetings different activities, tasks, mobilities and budget were organised, while ideas, experiences and techniques were exchanged to make the project a success.

We are looking forward to start seeing the fruits of the work!

Second step: Good practices

More updates are coming. We’re working on it!

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