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.

Spain: Industry sides with science

Organizations of the industry, and associations connected to R+D+i express their support towards research, backing the petition of the Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu alliance (SOMMa) which advocates in favour of the political class acting to clear the administrative problems currently affecting science in Spain.

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.

Se prevén niveles de polen altos para esta primavera

 Investigadores de la Red Aerobiològica de Catalunya del ICTA-UAB y del Departamento de Biología Animal, Biología Vegetal y Ecología de la UAB han presentado hoy las previsiones de los niveles de polen y esporas en la atmósfera en Catalunya para la primavera y el verano.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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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