ICTA-UAB researcher Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Consolidator Grant

ICREA researcher at ICTA-UAB Victoria Reyes- García has been graced with a Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) for the development of a project aimed at bringing insights from local knowledge to climate change research.

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".

Blockadia map by ICTA-UAB reveals global scale of anti-fossil fuel movement

A new interactive map by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) reveals the worldwide impact of resistance direct actions by people putting their own bodies in the way of fossil fuel projects.

The ICTA-UAB participated in the 100xCiencia.2 meeting in Alicante

The encounter, which was focused on the transfer of knowledge and technology, brought together representatives of 40 centres and research units “Severo Ochoa” and “María de Maeztu”, respectively.

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.

Green gentrification can limit the favourable effects of green areas on health

A scientific research conducted by ICTA-UAB and IMIM suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours do not benefit equally from the effects newly created green areas have on health.

Oil contamination in the Amazon modifies chemical composition of rivers

A scientific study by the ICTA-UAB and ISS-EUR quantifies the environmental impact of oil extraction activities and contamination in headwaters of the Amazon.

ICTA-UAB researchers alert that oil palm plantations produce infertility in tropical lands

Oil palm plantations are replacing 40% of tropical forests and 32% of basic grain crops, according to an ICTA-UAB research conducted in Guatemala.

UAB scientists and citizens can identify Barcelona's allergy-causing plants with the new Plant*tes app

The UAB Point of Information on Aerobiology (PIA) presented its new Plant*tes app in Barcelona as part of the BArcelona City Council's project entitled "Ciència Ciutadana als barris".

EJAtlas Includes 2,100 Case Studies on Socio-Environmental Conflicts Around the World

The Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), created by researchers of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), currently includes 2,100 cases of ecological distribution conflicts identified in different parts of the world.

Unrestricted Improvements in Fishing Technology Threaten the Future of Seafood

A study conducted by ICTA-UAB researcher Eric Galbraith shows that future improvement of fishing technology poses a threat for the global fishery that could be greater than climate change.

Ice age thermostat prevented extreme climate cooling

During the ice ages, an unidentified regulatory mechanism prevented atmospheric CO2 concentrations from falling below a level that could have led to runaway cooling, reports a study conducted by researchers of the ICTA-UAB and published online in Nature Geoscience this week.

The New Theory of Economic “Agrowth” Contributes to the Viability of Climate Policies

 ICTA-UAB researcher Jeroen van den Bergh publishes in Nature Climate Change a study in which he proposes a new economic theory compatible with the fight against climate change.

European Project to Analyse the Effects of Waste Generated by Tourism on Mediterranean Islands

An European study involving the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma e Barcelona will address and propose solutions to the effects of the increase of waste generated by tourism on Mediterranean islands during the summer season.

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.
News
Do Greener Cities Become More Unjust?

Date: 2016-07-20

. A new research project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Isabelle Anguelovski and funded by the European Union will assess the “green gentrification” process by which the creation of green urban amenities tends to attract the higher social classes and excludes the most vulnerable groups.

. According to a pilot study, wealthy neighbours and foreigners from rich countries have settled around several parks in the district of Sant Martí, Barcelona, in the past few decades.

Cities restoring and creating environmental amenities contribute, in medium and long term, to the exclusion of the most vulnerable social groups. This is one of the findings of a study by scientists at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) led by the geographer and sociologist Isabelle Anguelovski which has analysed how the socioeconomic profile changes significantly when neighbourhoods go through a “greening” process that creates parks, green areas and ecological corridors.

The study shows that the restoration and creation of green amenities does not benefit everyone equally. This process is known as “green gentrification” and it takes place when lower-middle and lower class neighbourhood residents are displaced by new residents with higher purchasing power who arrive to these areas attracted by the proximity of new parks, gardens and more attractive houses. As a result, rental and housing prices substantially increase so that low-income residents cannot cope with the prices and must move to less attractive neighbourhoods with a lower quality of life. “The main hypothesis is that greener cities become more inequitable and unjust”, says Isabelle Anguelovski, coordinator of the project which aims to deepen on this topic and assess the social impact of greening projects in the cities. “There is a need to improve the neighbourhood’s environmental quality, to “green” it, but not at any price”, says Anguelovski, while she highlights that these projects need to be accompanied by policies which control property speculation, promote social housing projects, limit the number of short-term rental licenses and foster the creation of support networks between residents and local trade.

The Greenlulus project (Green Locally Unwanted Land Uses) has been funded with 1.5 million Euros by the European Union (Starting Grant from European Research Council). Over the next 5 years, a large research group coordinated by Isabelle Anguelovski will compare the situation of 20 cities in the US with other 20 in Europe to develop a ranking of the most environmentally just cities as well as their social and health impact on residents.

The project has already developed a pilot study which highlights the “green gentrification” of Barcelona. The study Assessing environmental gentrification impacts of neighborhood greening in historically disenfranchised areas: A longitudinal and spatial analysis through the municipal area of Barcelona has analysed the changes in the socioeconomic profile of people living near 18 gardens and parks created in Barcelona between 1992 and 2000, in Sant Andreu, Sant Martí, Nou Barris, Ciutat Vella and Horta Guinardó. The results show that in some areas, the environmental improvement processes have led to a house price appreciation and low-income residents have been expelled to be replaced by wealthy neighbours.

The study uses six indicators, residents with a university degree, non-EU immigrants,immigrants from Northern countries, residents aged over 65 living alone, residents’ income increase and house value. “Green gentrification” takes place when three parameters are detected simultaneously, as in the case of the parks of Poblenou and Nova Icària, both in Sant Martí, and the gardens in Príncep de Viana, in Horta.

This is noticed in an extraordinary way in the residential areas near Poblenou Park, where neighbours with at least one university degree living less than 100 metres away from a green area have increased by 689% compared to 139% on average in Sant Martí. In the Parc de les Cascades, Port Olímpic, Nova Icària and Carles I, the increment was also significant.

The income of families living near the parks raised significantly (20.5% in Poblenou) and, in some cases, the presence of foreigners from Northern countries jumped by 3791% in the surrounding areas of the Poblenou park, compared to 228% on average in Sant Marti, while immigrants from Southern countries decreased.

In contrast, in some distressed neighbourhoods of Nou Barris and Sant Andreu where “greening” has not taken place, the number of vulnerable households has increased. It is believed that these low-income residents come from neighbourhoods which have gentrified as a result of environmental improvements.

Although neighbourhoods benefit from new green areas, in some of them it would be necessary to boost local trade as well as improve school quality and create new engines of economic activity for the most vulnerable residents.


ICTA's Activities