LED2LEAP 2020 - Budapest

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Area Primary School No. 1 in Budaörs
Place 2040 Budaörs, Hársfa street
Country Hungary
Topics schoolyard - community designing - democracy education
Author(s) Teachers: Anna Szilágyi-Nagy, Anita Reith - Tutors: Eszter Jákli, Ilka Demény - Students: Alexandra Szentkuti, Bence Erdélyi, Dalma Kóczán, Gréta Fazekas, Laura Kovács, Mihály Fazekas, Patrícia Szárnyas, Zsanett Varga, Zsuzsanna Moussong
School picture.jpg

Landscape Democracy Rationale

  • The Primary School No.1 in Budaörs is the newest school of the city. It was build in 2009 and designed by the Dobai Architecture Studio and S73 Landscape Architecture Studio. At first sight this is a school without any problems, it has a very modern look and an innovative spatial structure. But because no community was connected to the building when it was established, the designers didn't have the chance to ask the users opinions and viewpoints. Nowdays we can see what kind of problems the school community has and how they would imagine their school in the future. Since we are landscape architects, primarily we will focus on the schoolyard, but we also believe that this is the place where the most important scenes of the school life are taking place.

Location and scope

  • You can edit this map with the map editor
  • Next to showing us where you are, you may also use this map to localise different focus themes of your community
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Phase A: Mapping your Community

Welcome to your community and its landscape

  • ASSETS: The school assets have 4 main groups: Individuals, Physical space, Institution properties an Associations. You can read on the figure below what are the components of this school based on this 4 topics.
  • SYMBOLS: For the students the main symbols around the schoolyard are the football field, the monkey bars and for the older students the "chill zone" with the benches. From the viewpoint of the parents they always mentioned the hill (the kids get dirty when it's muddy) and the football field. They think that the schoolyard is too small, but they are happy with it contains right now. The teachers said that they really appreciate that the school has a very diverse yard. Sometimes it"s difficult to watch out for all of the children, but the hill is a good spot for that.

Groups of actors and stakeholders in your community

  • In a school usually there are 3 main groups: students, teachers and parents.
  • In the hungarian primary school system we distinguish 2 groups: from the 1st to the 4th grade the lower class and from the 5th to the 8th grade the upper class. These two groups have different study programs and usually there is a big change in the behavior of the children when they step to the 5th grade.
  • The main user group of the schoolyard are obviously the students. There is always a supervising teacher with them outside.
  • During events, beside the students, the teachers and the parents are also becoming the users of the schoolyard.

Relationships between your actors and groups

  • POWER RELATIONSHIPS: The most power obviously the teachers have. The group of the teachers (based on what they said) is a very democratic group. They always decide together. Around the schoolyard there is always a supervising teacher who assigns what the children can do there and what they can not do. After the teachers the student council has the most influence in decision-making. They are delegated by the students. They can't make decisions by themselves, but the teachers listen to their opinions in some questions (e.g.: organizing events). Around the schoolyard the upper class students have more power for sure, but the teachers try to balance their power with the lower class students power (e.g.: by providing exclusive time for the younger students to use the schoolyard).
  • CONFLICTS:Between the students around the schoolyard the most conflicts can be originated by the lack of playing space. For the boys it's because of the football field, which is on the same place with the basketball field, for the girls (and also boys) it's because of the monkey bar and the swings. These kind of conflicts often appear between the younger and older students. From the viewpoint of the parents the biggest source of conflict is the hill: if the soil is a bit wet and the children play there during the day, they always go home with dirty clothes (this is specific for younger students). And of course they also hear about their children problems when they are not allowed to use some parts of the schoolyard because the other students don't let them to.

Summary of your learnings from the transnational discussion panel on April 22

On April 22 you will present the PPT version of this first assignment to other seminar groups working in other geographical community contexts. Please give here a short summary of your learnings during this presentation, for example:

  • Other analytical approaches
  • Other representation styles
  • Other value schemes: any surprises?
  • Constructive comments we received on our presentation

Theory reflection

  • Reflect on at least three readings from the first section 'Democratic Landscape Transformation
  • You can choose references from our reading list or suggest others
  • Scope: 250 words


  • give a full list of the references you have used for this section

Phase B: Democratic Landscape Analysis and Assessment

The Scene in your Story of Analysis

The main challenge in our case is to design a schoolyard for the chosen Primary School in Budaörs, Hungary, with the needs of all its users in mind. It is a way more complex proposition, than it sounds for first, because before the landscaping part of the project can be started, every other detail has to be examined and analyzed.
The socio-economic and political characteristics of the school are including the structure of the school. It means that this school is for students from 1st to 8th grade, so it's a basic primary school. It plays an important role in the lives of the families living in its surrounding with its characteristic and modern building with solar panels on its rooftop. Also the schoolyard has various elements (such as a small hill-like structure, monkey bars, swings, playing-field, sandboxes, hopscotch) which proves that this yard is well-developed. The teachers, schoolmaster, maintenance staff, gardener, and all the others who work here and also other event participants are attached to the school, because several events are being held in the schoolyard, so its landscaped construction is very important for so many reasons and people.

The Actors in your Story of Analysis

The main character in this story is the schoolyard, the main object, and the location of the study. This character is in connection with so many other actors and each actor has a different impact on it.
The management of the school, including the teachers, schoolmaster and other educators are more closely related to each other and they can make bigger changes come true on the yard.
On one hand, the director has the opportunity to apply for improvements and the necessary financial support within the legal framework. Also he or she can submit the school for competitions to potentially obtain more financial support for any planned improvements. The teachers and other educators can make suggestions that are judged by the director, based on appropriate and thorough discussions. They can also involve students into discussions about any idea, related to the life and development of the school on head-teacher lessons or other ways. But the teaching staff usually asks the parents for their opinions on certain issues and changes. On the other hand, there are the gardeners and the maintaining staff, who works in the school and their task is focused on keeping the entire area in good condition, but they get the instructions from the director.

The Story of Analysis

The story of this landscape analysis is about to show that how many methods have been used in the case of this schoolyard to carry out the process of this.

  • Method One - Roundtable discussion

A very useful way for a preliminary survey to see the most significant, multi-stakeholder questions, held via Zoom or other video communications, video and audio conferences, chats, emails, and webinars. Almost all the actors had agents at this seminar, so the problem could be seen from many points of view. It's more like brainstorming about the main cases and questions to get to know them better.
It's a more comfortable and friendlier way to pondering on the problems, which are the most frequented sides of the schoolyard, and working on them together, because all the stakeholders have their own interests and needs and in this kind of conversation, everyone can suggest any probable/potential solution for each others' questions.

  • Method Two - Quality of natural environment in the schoolyard

A virtual walk was made in the yard via video by a teacher, who had access to the area of the schoolyard. During this walk, the positive and negative aspects of the quality of the natural environment was revealed.


  • It owns a really colorful and modern architectural and landscaping design
  • Multi-leveled flora (trees, shrubs, flowerbeds) can be found there with a quite wide range of plants
  • It has many different playing equipment with pavement, being in good condition
  • Its planning is 3-dimensional(with the hill-like structure and stairs)


  • There're few green spaces, mostly on the hill, and it's hard to use them
  • The trees are mainly young ones and on the side of the property, or on the hill, so there's almost no shadow in the schoolyard
  • Because of the arrangement of the plants and the pieces of equipment on the yard, with its shaping, it's impossible to see everything
  • There's a big unused and separated green (“Triangle”), which has no particular way of usage, because its establishment had no main case
  • The yard is prioritized for PE class, so its usage is kind of limited

  • Method Three - Assessment of children’s drawings and models about the schoolyard

The drawings and models which were used to the source of this evaluation were made by the students previously, but after the outbreak of COVID-19, so the main exercise and difficulty of this was that the students had to do it memoriter. Children remember better, more clearly, in more detail what they like, which is important to them, so based on the drawings and mock-ups, a kind of mental map is drawn out of what the children consider most important to them in the yard. This varies by age, gender, and personality.
It shows that the lower-grade students have a greater emphasis on the various elements, precisely on the climbing frame, swings, and other parts of the playground area. At the same time the students from higher grades tried to make more realistic illustrations about the yard, with more details on them. From this analysis it is clearer that as children getting older, they recognized the importance of green spaces and trees, and also they concentrate less on the exact elements and try to see more connections between areas.

  • Method Four - Conflicts between children in the schoolyard

This time the used method was a complex of several types of mapping via an online workspace for visual collaborations and video communications simultaneously. Questions were asked from a group of students, such as which is their favorite part of the schoolyard, what they like the most and the least about it, when they can use which parts of it or according to them what equipment(s) or part(s) of the area needs to be renovated or re-established and they used previously chosen colored stickers, post-its and other icons to answer and these responses were based on the children's age, gender, connection with the others and the design of the schoolyard. This was a short online session from different grades to get informations on a wider scale. The main goal was to get to know more about the conflicts between the children with the help of this map.
The analysis of the session will reveal that which are the most and the least preferred sides of the yard for each group, because most likely the younger girls will give different answers than the elders and this is the same situation between the boys from different ages/grades. This will also show the usual conflicts between the children because of the usage of the yard and the result of this survey will be a guiding point for the later designing ideas.

  • Method Five - Maintenance of the schoolyard

In this method, the director of the school was interviewed. The goal was to get to know more about the financial sources, maintainers, gardening equipments, plants on the area and how the schoolyard and its maintenance fits into the education.
This revealed that the school gets enhancements mainly by projects and sponsors, but there's only one maintenance staff and the gardeners, who work there are not qualified experts and this cause the usage of the type of trees and plants that are not sensitive, because the staff doesn't have the proper and important knowledge of how to take care of plants with special needs. Also, the kids get involved in gardening during environmental studies, workshops which are held on the schoolyard, and also they go to field trips of natural sciences.
But the situation is not that bad, because they previously established some raised garden beds for growing lavender, rosemary, tomato, onion, kale, zucchini, pumpkin, and radish, so they tried to make some kind of vegetable garden and they also installed sprinkler equipments for keeping this gardens alive and in as good condition as possible.

  • Method Six - Opportunities for partners and outsiders

The goal was to achieve a better understanding of the partnerships between the Budaörs Elementary School and the Budaörs community by interviewing with the school's director and the representative of the Public Office.
The discussion was mainly focused on that who the partners are, what opportunities they have to offer, and also linked with the outsiders, such as why would someone who is not attached to the school wants to use the area of the educational facility, what the requirement are for let them to use it and if they get the permission, how they can enter to the place.
On one side, there's the school with its own cultural events, schoolyard, and sports facilities and for holding these events and maintaining the equipments and the green areas, the proper financial background is necessary.
On the other side, there are the partners, who might have contacts with other participants, maybe the local government or others who would like to insert their money into some development for making the life of the community better. These contacts might become financial supporters in developing the school.
Another important aspect of this is how the two sides can cooperate with each other and all of this will define the possibilities and willingness for the future.

  • Method Seven - Assessment of the school’s environment

In the case of this, 2 zonal maps were created; the global one is focused on the entire surrounding of the school and it contains also the building of the school, meanwhile, the other map is focused more onto the area of the schoolyard. The maps are marked with the attributes and the particular problems of each zones.
How was this look like? Two Google maps bases were created, where every target group, which were students, teachers and parents, can use a different colored pin to answer the questions, which can help us to assess the intensity of the traffic and usage around the school and the yard as well.

Questions in the case of the GLOBAL MAP:

  • Which areas do they use and when?
  • Why do they like or don’t like to be around these places?

Questions in the case of the SCHOOLYARD MAP:

  • Show us the most frequent places and the places which are used just by a few and what they think, why is it like this?
  • If they have one, show which is their favorite place and which is the place they really don’t like! Why do they feel this way?

  • Method Eight - Children’s free time activities outside of the school

This time there were two ways for the method; one was a drawing exercise for the children and the other one was an online survey which was sent to the parents.

Drawing task for the children: The students got a map from Budaörs and their tasks were to show where they live and on what route they go to school every day, even if they use public traffic. Also, a task for them was to mark the places on the map, where they go after school, such as going to special classes, meeting up with friends, doing other sports activities, playing and things like that.

Online survey for the parents: An online survey was sent to the parents for getting more accurate information about the free time activities of the students and this plus knowledge could have been added to the map, used by children previously. It now shows more precise data about the whereabouts of these places, used by the students of the examined school.

This is an important part of this huge, comprehensive research because, for a better view, it is important to know how much time the students spend traveling between their place of residence and the school or other places where they have to go after school and how much free time they have left for individual activities and where they spend that time.

  • Method Nine - Events at the schoolyard

The required pieces of information were got by an online discussion with the teachers via email and Zoom. The school, as an educational facility, holds countless events every year. These are mostly seasonal events and the leadership of the school tries to hold as many events as possible outdoors, in the yard, but it depends on the weather.

Autumn events:

  • Harvest “party” at early September: where the participants, who are teachers, students and parents can play arcade games and can take part in a cooking competition
  • Waste collection
  • World animal day
  • St. Martin’s day
  • PE classes at the schoolyard

Spring events:

  • International Earth Day
  • World day of birds and trees
  • Sport day
  • Children’s day
  • Farewell ceremony

In winter, due to unfavorable weather conditions, there is no event in the schoolyard, so the annual Christmas ceremony is being held indoors.

Reflect on your Story of Analysis

Every actors' voice was heard, everyone who attached to the school's life was involved, listened, and their needs were assessed, what they like and dislike. The methods were mainly fit to the schoolyard's scale, some of them were about the inside of the courtyard, some looked at it in a larger context, sometimes the whole city.
The conclusion is that it's extremely important to involve all participants in such a large-scale project, and not only during the analysis, but also during and after the planning. Continuous and seamless communication is essential for this, which must be maintained until the end of construction, along with interest in the plan.
Other strategies for the future: persistence, asking for feedback, building on feedback, keeping a good relationship with the students as well as the teachers and students and others
Achievements till now: The goal was outlined not only for the designers but for all members of the community, which became a common interest for both parties, became the shared goal.
What is left behind: A story in which the real needs of the participants are represented, yet easy to understand, pass on and spread so that it can reach many people in a short period of time.

Phase C: Collaborative Visioning and Goal Setting

The Scene in your Story of Visioning

  • Reiterate your landscape democracy challenge, by making a problem statement based on your landscape evaluation and the results of your Phase B assessment. Describe your challenge by digging further into the the physical scene and the community associated with this place.
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

The Actors in your Story of Visioning

  • Describe the particular characters that are going to participate in the visioning phase. Why were they chosen to participate and where will the visioning phase happen?
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

The Story of Visioning

  • Describe the crux of the story. How did the actors engage in collectively developing the goals, and what was the process involved in prioritizing them? Slide 1
  • What is the visualization, the actual vision, that expresses the synthesis of these prioritized goals? Slide 2
  • What is the strategy that was built for attaining one of these goals, the three year plan of action? Slide 3
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

Reflect on your Story of Visioning

  • What points were most important when formulating goals and what are the common characteristics of a good vision?
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

Phase D: Collaborative Design, Transformation and Planning

Prototyping action

  • GOAL: To create different zones of the school yard according to the usage & to clarify the rules
  • PROTOTYPE'S AIM: To reduce conflicts between the school yard users
  • COMMUNITY RELATIONS: Helping the community to realize every detail in case of a possible development in the near future
  • PROTOTYPES: The space divider, Toy Story mapping

Brainstorming evolution

The idea for the prototypes came from working together on different platforms (eg. Mural, Zoom etc.). The Budapest LivingLab had been interviwing the Budaörs primary schools's community (teachers and students) throughout the whole project. The ideas were created according to the previous perceptions and results by the team.

The spACE divider

With this prototype our aim is to achieve a school yard where there are different marked zones for the children and to see how they use these zones (the frequency of entrance , the amount of time spent in one zone, “rule breakers”, what is the reason behind a rule break etc). The goal is to create separate sections on the school yard by using flexible ropes and colored signs for separation and section marking. In this process we would like to involve the schools's community mainly focusing on behavior patterns ofthe teachers and the students.

  1. Consulting: Discussions with the school board about the installation processes and the whole anlysation period.
  2. Planning: Designing methods for the sections.
  3. Highlighting: Installation of the zones (flexible ropes, marking etc.)
  4. Game play: Analysation process. During this period the students and the teachers are participating in the experiment.
  5. Analysing, reflections: Conclusions according to the perceived behavior patterns.
  6. Results: Drawing conclusions for a possible school yard development in the near future.


  • Physical resources: flexible ropes, glue/duct tape, colored stickers, signs and chalks, printed out rules
  • Human resources: Hungarian LED Team (5-6 people) to build the divider

The resources will be provided by the school and the Budapest LEDteam and the rules will be created by the teachers.


  • to build the divider we need an afternoon (3-4 hours)
  • the schoolyard will be divided into 2 areas (younger and older students)
  • for a successful experiment we need at least 1-2 days
  • each day the LED team will examine the divider with the teachers


  • Director&teachers to help make and keep the rules
  • Maintenance to keep the divider up for a period of time
  • Children


  • Frequently used zones are highlighted
  • What needs to be changed
  • Detecting the rules that need more attention
  • Understanding the age group differences

TOY STORY mapping

With this prototype our aim is to identify the favourite playground toys and to see that where would it be the most advantageous to install them. During the action we aim to use a map of the chool yard where the children can rate there favourite playground toys by using colored, preprinted icons or their own drawing which tey can stick to the map. We would present a map in every class for a short period of time so we can get a clear answer for our questions. In this process we would like to focus on the students.

  • Cartoon map of the garden -> mapping base
  • Glue & wooden sticks -> voting pillars
  • Icons, children’s drawings -> rating tools


  1. Consulting: Discussions with the school board about the installation processes and the whole anlysation period.
  2. Planning: Designing methods for the sections.
  3. Map creating
  4. Game play: Analysation process. During this period the students are participating in the experiment.
  5. Analysing, reflections: Conclusions according to the ratings
  6. Results: Drawing conclusions for a possible school yard development in the near future.


  • Physical resources: Cartoon map of the school yard, glue and wooden sticks, icons, children’s drawings
  • Human resources: Hungarian LED Team (5-6 people) to prepare the elements of the prototype

The resources will be provided by the school and the Budapest LEDteam and the rules will be created by the team


  • preparing the prototype for the kids takes 2-3 day for the team
  • one group/class will play for 30 minutes
  • the team (2-3 people) will lead the students during the game with a teachers help


  • Director&teachers to arrange the testing of the prototype - during class
  • Children - a group or class to play with the map (10-20 children would be ideal)


  • Frequently used zones are highlighted
  • Most wanted toys are clarified
  • Which furnitures are needed and which can be removed
  • Understanding the age group differences



  • Getting to know each other
  • Clarifying the real needs of the target group
  • The participants will start to think about their own environment in a different way
  • Increasing the creativity of the participants


  1. Designing a prototype of some interventions based on the results (e.g.: a furniture) → ask the opinion of the school members again
  2. If it’s possible, let’s build together!
  3. After the implementation making observations and asking participants about the user experiment

Our project is designing a schoolyard for the Budaörs Primary School with the community. For this project our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are mostly Sustainable cities and communities and Partnership for the goals, and our goals also contained Quality education and Gender equality. Our community for this project is relatively smaller, than the other teams', so we had to be creative ande find new tools and ways to reach out and talk to the kids, teachers and even parents.

Phase E: Collaborative Evaluation and Future Agendas

Collaborative Evaluation and Landscape Democracy Reflection

  • Reiterate your landscape democracy challenge, by listing the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals. How has the your work with he community this far affect your perceptions of theses goals in regards to the LD challenge? How has your team, or community partner, modified these goals over the course of this course?’'
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

The Actors in your Collaborative Evaluation

  • ’'Reintroduce the stakeholders that are going to participate in the visioning phase, what is the existing power structure? How has that structure shifted leading up to evaluation, and how has your understanding of your role shifted?
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

Reflection of the Online Seminar

  • ’'How did the pandemic affect your learning and your team work? Did the theoretical material support your project or did it confuse the process? How well did the assignments and the online challenges reflect on the nature of landscape democracy challenges?’'
  • ’'add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery belowv

Reflection of the Living Lab Process

  • ’'How did COVID-19 affect the living lab and it’s activities. Were you and the community satisfied with them? What were the greatest outcomes, outputs and impacts of the project? What indicators did you use to evaluate them?’'
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

Your Living Lab Code of Conduct

  • ’’What were the main values driving your lab, and what ground rules were set up as a result of that same reflection?’’
  • add the corresponding visual from your presentation to the image gallery below

Process Reflection

  • Which limitations were you facing?

The LED2LEAP seminars were inspirating andgave us ideas from every part of Europe. On the other hand it was really hard to concentrate on an online seminar the same way we would do at the campus. The break rooms, mural tasks and interactive classes were really enjoyable and a great way to involve everyone and start a converstation with the tools we have. The biggest con was that we mostly worked and talked with our teammates and didn't have the chance to get to know the other parcipants.

The Livin Lab was a great community planning exercise. Since our community and area was different, smaller than the other participants', we had a hard time using the given templates and tasks, mainly because our actors are really different. Moreover the COVID-19 situation made our work harder, because the school wasn't open durning or Living Lab. We couldn't have a field survey and reache the community properly. Withouth actually seeing the area we are working with we had a relatively hard start, but we did the best we can with the school's help to get to know the schoolyard and it's surroundings.

  • What have you learnt from each other?

This Living Lab, and VLED2LEAP Seminar gave our team a bit of experience with community planning. We got to kow the differnet platforms, methods and prototypes which we can use more easily and comfortable in the future. It was also a big lesson on teamwork with a bigger group, who don't really know eachother. In the university we usually choose our teammates and have maximum 4 memberis in a group. It was a good experience and we will definitely use our own voice and opinion and communicate more openly.

  • What would you do differently next time?

Since our Living Lab barely knew eachother it took weeks, or even months to start working with eachother not just next to others. Our teamwork and communicating skills are definitley developed durning this seminar and next time we would have an easier start.