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.

Bolivian Amazon on road to deforestation

Amazon biodiversity hotspot to suffer even more “alarming” losses after contentious law passed, according to a study involving ICTA-UAB researchers.

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.

New ICTA-UAB map shows success, concerns and challenges of the transition away from fossil fuels and coal industry in Australia

Resistance against massive coal-mining in Australia and a growing movement for a ‘just transition’ from fossil fuels have enjoyed some success but face massive challenges, as shown in a new map developed by researchers from the international ACKnowl-EJ project of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)  and the Australian Environmental Justice (AEJ) research team at the Centre for Urban Research (RMIT University.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
More Urban Green Needed in Barcelona to Have Positive Effects on Environmental Quality and Wellness

Date: 2017-02-03

barcelona_ICTA_urban green

 

. A PhD dissertation by Francesc Baró, from ICTA-UAB, quantifies and maps the benefits of urban and periurban green in Barcelona such as the improvement of air quality, climate change mitigation and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

. Due to the low number of green spaces in Barcelona, the positive effects on environmental quality and wellbeing is still limited (less than 3% on the improvement of air quality).

. There is a need to consider parks, forests, urban trees and green spaces as green infrastructure and integrate them into the planning and management of the city and its metropolitan area to foster the benefits.

 

In an increasingly urban planet, many cities and their inhabitants are facing multiple pressing threats within their borders, including heat stress, pollution and growing disconnection with the biosphere. Improving sustainability, resilience and livability in urban areas should be thus a major goal on the policy agenda, from local to global authorities.

The operationalization of the ecosystem services framework, building on the concepts of ‘green infrastructure’ and ‘nature-based solutions’, is claimed by a mounting number of policy-makers, practitioners and scientists as the way forward to address many of these urban challenges. However, the extent to which urban green infrastructure can offer relevant solutions to these challenges is rarely considered in ecosystem service assessments, and therefore unknown to decision-makers.

This dissertation critically examines the role and contribution of green infrastructure to cope with diverse urban challenges, focusing on the case of Barcelona.

Results from the research indicate that the contribution of ecosystem services provided by urban green infrastructure to cope with urban problems is often limited in dense cities such as Barcelona. The impact of Barcelona's urban green on air quality or climate change mitigation is lower than 3%. Moreover, it is not possible to optimize all the ecosystem services provided by green infrastructure in the same spatial and temporal scale.

This PhD dissertation by Francesc Baró is the winner of the “Ciències Ambientals 2016” prize for the best research activity, which is awarded by the Col·legi d’Ambientòlegs de Catalunya (COAMB) and the Associació Catalana de Ciències Ambientals (ACCA).

The thesis suggests several actions for urban green infrastructure planning and management, such as the development of new green spaces in compact urban cores (e.g. rooftop gardens), and proposes actions to assure the conservation, and public use, of periurban forest areas such as Collserola. This calls for a strong harmonization of planning and management instruments in a multi-level governance approach.

Benefits and solutions of the urban green infrastructures, including Barcelona, will be further explored through two new European research projects involving ICTA-UAB: ENABLE (Biodiversa programme) and NATURVTION (Horizon 2020 Programme).

Reference
Baró, F. 2016. Urban Green Infrastructure: Modeling and mapping ecosystem services for sustainable planning and management in and around cities. PhD dissertation advised by Erik Gómez-Baggethun and Dagmar Haase. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Available at http://www.tdx.cat/handle/10803/399173

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