Marine Litter on Mediterranean Beaches Triples in Summer

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) analyses and quantifies the waste generated by tourists in eight islands of the Mediterranean as part of the European BLUEISLANDS project.

Mapping the Urban Vitality of Barcelona

Researchers at the UAB have mapped Barcelona and and 9 surrounding towns using a new methodology based on urbanism activist Jane Jacobs' ideas on how cities should be configured to become vital spaces: 25% of the area is classified as having high vitality.

ICTA-UAB Gathers Worldwide Experts on Degrowth and Environmental Justice

ICTA-UAB is organizing the fifth edition of the Summer School on Degrowth and Environmental Justice from June 24 to July 6.

Agricultural intensification not a “blueprint” for sustainable development

Social and ecological results of increased agricultural intensification are not as positive as expected.

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10

Today is World Environment Day. Environmental conflicts should not be seen as disruptions to smooth governance, fixable with market solutions, technology or police bullets.

Green urban planning must consider social equity criteria

Cities that do not include social equity criteria into their political strategies to make their urban environment greener and more ecological will not achieve long-term sustainability and risk creating green enclaves only for the social elite.

The ICTA-UAB alerts of a new invasive Asian beetle pest in Catalonia that kills mulberry trees

A study by researcher of the ICTA-UAB and the Department of Agriculture Víctor Sarto i Monteys has identified in the province of Barcelona the presence of a species from Asia that could spread through Europe.

More than 120 ICTA-UAB researchers addressed environmental challenges at a symposium, especially those arising from global and...

The Institut of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) organized its 1st Spring Symposium with the aim of addressing some of the main environmental and sustainability challenges.

Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought

A new study by ICTA-UAB analyzes the impacts on lifestyles of substituting fossil fuels for cleaner energies.

Are Farmers Who Belong to Local User Associations Better Adapted to Climate Change?

Droughts, floods and high temperatures derived from climate change are not the only threats that farmers with irrigated crops must face.

Climate Change Threatens World's Largest Seagrass Carbon Stores

Shark Bay seagrass carbon storage hotspot suffers alarming losses after a devastating marine heat wave, according to a study led by ICTA-UAB researchers.

Amazon's indigenous people hunt animals feeding in areas contaminated by oil spills

A study by the ICTA-UAB and the UAB Department of Animal Health and Anatomy demonstrates that the main species hunted by the indigenous popoulations of the Peruvian Amazon ingest water and soil contaminated with hidrocarbons and heavy metals.

The new Planttes app warns of allergy risks in different urban areas

The Planttes application is a citizen science project which aims to encourage people to identify and locate on a map the existence of allergy-causing plants and indicate their phenological state.

Global climate treaty easier to negotiate if guided by Human Development Index

A study by ICTA-UAB concludes that agreements against climate change would be more attractive to rich countries if they were analyzed taking into account the Human Development Index, instead of GDP.

New Project to Link Extreme Weather Events, Atmospheric Biodiversity and Human Health

A new ICTA-UAB project led by researcher Jordina Belmonte will study the effects of extreme meteorological events on the biological biodiversity present in the atmosphere in order to predict changes in the environment and possible affectations on human health.

ICTA-UAB’s success: five ERC grants in two years

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded five European Research Council (ERC) grants in two years, which is about ten per cent of all ERC grants arriving in Catalonia over the period from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017.

Scientists Alert of Swift Degradation of Marine Ecosystems and Grave Consequences for the Planet

A book edited by researchers from the ICTA-UAB, the UB, the CNRS and the IEO addresses the concept of "animal forest" and highlights the importance of the role seas and oceans have in combating climate change.

Research to study the health effects of forests

The ICTA-UAB, CREAF and the "la Caixa" Bank Foundation recently presented the project "Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society".

Launch of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence

​ The Secretary of State for R&D+i, Carmen Vela, chaired the kickoff meeting of the new Severo Ochoa and Maria Maeztu Alliance of Excellence.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
Seminar: “Ethnicity, Race, and Equity in the City: Comparative Perspectives from the United States, France, and Spain”

Date: 2017-06-16

Seminar: “Ethnicity, Race, and Equity in the City: Comparative Perspectives from the United States, France, and Spain”

Date: Friday, June 16th 2017
Time: From 15 to 18h
Venue: Aula Magna. Fac. Geografia i Història UB. (c/ Montalegre, 6, 4º piso. Barcelona)

Co-organised by

- ICTA-UAB, Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability, GREENLULUS project (GA 678034)
- Espais Critics Research Group, project RESDERES (CSO2015-65066-R-RESDERES), Universitat de Barcelona (UB)

Prof. Anna Livia Brand (University of New Orleans/University of Texas-Austin)
Prof. Sylvie Tissot (Université de Paris 8)
Prof. Mikel Aramburu (University of Barcelona)

High Ground, Low Ground: The New Racial Topographies of Urban Development in the 21st Century

Anna Livia Brand is an Assistant Professor in Urban Design and the Built Environment in the Department of Planning and Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans and was recently an Emerging Scholar Fellow in Race and Gender in the Built Environment of the American City in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Anna received her Bachelor in Architecture from Tulane University, her Master in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans and her PhD in Urban Planning from MIT. Anna Livia Brand’s research focuses on the historical development of and contemporary planning and design challenges in black mecca neighborhoods in the American North and South, including Chicago’s Bronzeville, New York’s Harlem, Washington D.C.’s Shaw, New Orleans’s Treme, Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn, and Houston's 3rd and 4th Wards. In her work, Anna is investigating and comparing how the redevelopment of the historic business and cultural corridors in these communities reflects ongoing racialization and changing commitments to equity and social justice for those who have traditionally suffered under urban revitalization policies. Her work also interrogates the gendered, racialized and resistant constructions of the built environment in these neighborhoods over time. 

A new racial topography is emerging in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, planners and policy makers have promoted redevelopment on the city’s historic high ground as the method and metric of rebuilding a more socially and environmentally just city. This approach was advanced through a myriad of processes, including prohibitions on black residents’ return to low-lying areas, public housing reform, and the exploitation of high ground opportunities. However, instead of promoting a greater incorporation of social and environmental justice, recovery has reflected a complicated terrain of racial-geographic restructuring, exposing neoliberal commitments to concentrating affluence, diversifying the city, and deterritorializing poor communities of color.                                   

New Orleans’s landscape of recovery exhibited is linked to racialized conceptualizations of land and property. Development attracting whites back to the city is expanding along the riverfront’s high ground topography. At the same time, low-lying white communities, such as Lakeview, have been able to secure their geographic claims. Conversely, poor communities of color who have inhabited high ground neighborhoods, such as Treme, are being displaced to low ground geographies. As such, whiteness, as a geographical and racial project, has been protected and expanded on high and low ground, while black geographies are problematized and dismantled by the state and private market. This research explores racial restructuring in the 21st century amidst the post-Katrina recovery of New Orleans. Findings from case studies on both low and high ground highlight the complexity of redevelopment in this post-disaster city and problematize the geographical, topographical, and racial restructuring of the city.


From «integration» to «social mix»: how French municipalities address (or obscure) the issue of race.

Sylvie Tissot is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris-8. Her academic research stands at the intersection of class analysis and urban studies. Her first book L’Etat et les quartiers (2007) examines how the “banlieue” has become a new social problem in France. She is also the author of Good Neighbors. Gentrifying diversity in Boston’s South End (2015), which analyzed the endorsement of “diversity” in upper middle class cultureHer new research project is a comparison of gay-friendly attitudes in New York and Paris. She has been a visiting scholar at the Center for European Studies (Harvard University) and the Institute for Public Knowledge (New York University). 

In the 1980s a growing concern emerged regarding French impoverished neighborhoods in what is called the “banlieues”. Yet rather than addressing poverty, urban policies have reinforced territorial stigmatization. In this talk I will examine local policies through language and categories used to define social ills and implement new programs. “Integration” reflects how systemic socio-economic problems have been obscured while focusing on ethnic differences that should be erased. At the same time local policies claim to promote “social mix”, especially in social housing estates. To what extent does it question the French dominant approach to ethnic diversity? I argue that rather than addressing the question of discrimination, the promotion of social mix in urban policies reinforces segregation. This is especially the case in the new regeneration programs, which aims at demolishing housing estates in order to build more integrated buildings.


“I can not believe you don’t know who “Los Chichos” are”: Experiences of periphery and scales of injustice in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona

Mikel Aramburu obtained his PhD in Social Anthropology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and is a Professor of Social Anthropology at the Universitat de Barcelona. Among others, his published works include « The others and us: Images of the Immigrant in the Ciutat Vella of Barcelona », for which he received the XXth Prize for Cultural Research Marques de Lozoya) and « Ethnic Minorities and Housing Policies». His research examines urban studies, nationalism, and migrations. Before working at the UB, he was in charge of the research area « Housing and Public Space » in the Instituto de Gobierno y Políticas Públicas (IGOP) at the UAB. He is currently the PI of the project « Popular Conceptions of Social Justice and Austerity Policies  (CSO2015-67368-P).

The expression “peripheral experience” is a political concept that refers to the relationship of some groups or areas with an economically, politically, and culturally dominating center. I am interested here in the peripheral experiences produced by the urban segregation of the working class, mainly from a foreign origin, living in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Segregation here is expressed in the dispossession of economic, social, and cultural capitals, which makes it more difficult for these working-class foreign residents to access certain resources, especially labor resources, and which also situates them at the margin of cultural hegemony and self-recognition of the city and of the nation (or nations). Scales of injustice refer to the diverse geographical locations of the dominating forces that condition these different types of segregation and that can create very diverse positionalities, including indignation, reclamation, naturalization, negation, and indifference. Scales refer first to the dialectical relationship “neighborhood-city” and second to the relation of redistribution with the State (both Spanish and Catalan). 

While the “experience of the periphery” is a highly politicized topic, much social science research on Barcelona has ignored it for the past 25 years. I argue that this experience has been marginalized because of several factors, including a priority given to upward social mobility, to the negation of class-based politics by neoliberal political frames, and by the hegemonic discourse of “civic catalanism”. In this presentation, I present recent research on the experience of residents raised in different working-class neighborhoods of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona who have experienced some form of geographic or social mobility and examine how social divisions meet with resistance and lived adaptations. 

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