Salas de Aula Mata Atlântica I
Reconnecting schoolchildren to Brazil’s native Atlantic Forest.
Salas de Aula Mata Atlântica is an ambitious project that has created a constellation of outdoor classrooms in five Unified Educational Centers (CEU) across São Paulo.
This constellation of forests is restoring denuded or unused pockets of land and transforming them into native - and highly endangered - Atlantic Forest, showing students and the local community how a biodiversity desert can be transformed into a thriving ecosystem once again.
In December 2022, the UN declared the Atlantic Forest as one of the 10 hotspots in the world for ecological restoration, and has designated efforts to do so as one of its 'World Restoration Flagships'.
Outdoor Classroom Design
The pocket forests are meticulously crafted to seamlessly integrate with the surrounding urban environment, whether at a grand or intimate scale.
Embracing a multitude of advantages, this verdant oasis not only offers a plethora of benefits but also serves as an ideal setting for students to forge meaningful connections and acquire knowledge inspired by the natural world.
“When we talk about planting and regenerating a space, we talk about re-signifying that space. It’s about attributing meaning to this space and making students understand that they can be agents of positive transformation.”
Eduardo Murakami, Environmental Education Group, São Paulo Educational Department
Forest Report: 2023
CEU Parque Novo Mundo
CEU Jardim Paulistano
Connecting children to Nature
The creation of these forests is accompanied by a significant 6-month educational programme, thereby amplifying the projects’ impact.
As a whole, Salas de Aula Mata Atlântica forges a connection between thousands of school children and Nature, supporting their wellbeing along with that of the planet. It brings outdoor classrooms to children across São Paulo that will educate, nourish and inspire.
These CEUs are located in highly urbanized and low-income neighborhoods on the outskirts of São Paulo. They are important community spaces, providing free access to educational, cultural and leisure activities for local people, with each CEU also having several schools attached to it. On average, a single CEU serves between 2000-3000 students aged 0-14.