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IES Viladomat

Description of social and environmental performance.

Problem detected:

The Autonomous Government of Catalonia tasked FCC Construcción with building a new school located at Eixample Esquerra district of Barcelona, home to the public space known as Jardins Emma, which had been recently opened, and that served as a recreational space and playground for local residents. Furthermore, close to these works was the “Pla Buits”: a plot assigned temporarily to the Germanetes Association, which featured a geodesic canopy of tubes, prefab modules, a small bar and area destined for use as an urban vegetable garden. A range of local organisations held meetings and events using this space, and every two weeks, a section of Consell de Cent Street, between Viladomat Street and Comte Borrell Street was closed to host an ecological farm market.

Unfortunately, the lack of information about the works taking place caused inconvenience amongst local residents who had been using the space, and they filed complaints with the company.

Solutions adopted:

The first measure employed was to create an information space for communication between the work team and frequent contacts, including the neighbours’ association and the Germanetes Association. Thanks to this initiative, it was possible to confirm that most people using the space around the works were unaware of the project to construct the school, nor about the company’s environmental commitments or deadlines. This open channel of communication created a dialogue with stakeholders and allowed for solutions to the conflicts arising as a result of the performance of the work, in the form of official meetings, to be reached.

In the work area adjacent to the “Pla Buits” space, the building was due to have a double-sided wall of 6 m in height. After several meetings with those responsible for the space, the Eixample Local Council, the Consortium of Education and the Project Management team, the decision was taken to extend the work boundaries to ensure the afety of third parties.

The replacement of urban furniture, trees and the services affected by the works were organised. It should be noted that the meetings were held in relation to the public lighting system, the displacement of a public fountain, the removal of trees or transfers to nurseries, the recovery of covers and valves, the request for a connection to the sewerage network, the recovery and relocation of mobile and urban vegetable gardens and existing wood flooring, in addition to items dedicated to sports, such as basketball hoops and ping-pong tables.

Results:

The company managed to win the trust of local residents and social organisations active in the surrounding area thanks to its generous response to their requests, constant communication with technicians and the supervisor of the works team and, ost importantly, the information provided concerning the work and progress therewith.

As procedures and spaces for communication had been set up involving the parties affected by the works, no further incidents were registered. All the agreements reached at official meetings were reflected in the meeting minutes or FCC Construcción’s form number 420, which reflects our relations with stakeholders.

Jardines Emma were used as normal, despite their proximity to the works, and it was possible to minimise the potential impact of the work on local residents.

As a result, the rewards of having a school in the area and the company satisfying its promise of completing the build in a reduced time frame (just 13 months) strengthened the coexistence of the works with local residents and the social environment.