Sign up for our newsletter
Environment / Climate change

This inner-city Chinese school has a running track on its roof

Access to outdoor space is an endless problem for inner-city schools. None of the options – pay through the teeth for a large piece of land in the city, send students on a coach for twenty minutes or just forgo sports entirely – are particularly appealing. 

In China, the designers of a school in the densely-built city of Tiantai have found a solution to this quandary. They designed the 4-storey primary school in the shape of an oval, then stuck a 200m running track on top. There was even space left over for a basketball court:

The building’s architects told Archdaily that if the track were built on the ground, it would take up 40 per cent of the school’s land:

White papers from our partners

If we put the playground on the ground as the normal way, then the space of the campus will be very cramped. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure students a playground to have sports and activities.”

Yesterday, Shanghaiist reported that a school in Fuyang, a city in Anhui province, has taken a similar approach – it’s installed a 2,000 square metre soccer field on its roof:

Image: China Daily.

Of course, spending a lot of time outside in smoggy Chinese cities can be unwise: last week, air quality in Beijing was so bad that schools were advised to cancel outdoor sports altogether.

Luckily, the Tiantai primary school is in a smaller city, where the pollution isn’t quite so bad. Fuyang, on the other hand – well, we’ll just leave you with this image of outdoorsy Fuyang residents exercising last January: 

Image: China Daily.

Let’s hope they cancelled football practice that day. 
This article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.