Two projects from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) have been awarded grants from the seventh call of the RecerCaixa programme promoted by the "la Caixa" Foundation, with the collaboration of the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP). The aim of the programme is to encourage scientific research of excellence in Catalonia, increase social and economic progress and enhance people’s well-being.
In the 2016 call of the RecerCaixa programme, 205 projects were presented from 47 different institutes; of those, 18 were selected and awarded the 1.6 million Euros available. The UAB received six grants worth a total of €576,056.
Two projects led by ICTA-UAB researchers Carme Miralles and Jeroen van den Bergh have been selected. Carme Miralles’s project “City, Quality of Life and Active Mobility of the Elderly” and Jeroen van den Bergh’s project “Understanding Societal Views on Carbon Pricing” have received €95,688 and €92,655, respectively.
The RecerCaixa programme is addressed at fostering and promoting research in Catalonia and preventing the flight of talent.
ICTA-UAB SELECTED PROJECTS
• "City, Quality of Life and Active Mobility of the Elderly. A multimethological analysis through Tracking Living Labs. (Carme Miralles, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ICTA-UAB, Department of Geography)
The characteristics of urban environments have an effect on the quality of life of the elderly, by influencing their physical and mental health, as well as their inclusion in the social sphere. In particular, the presence of walkable environments and the promotion of active transport (daily walking) play a transversal role as sources of physical and relational activities among the elderly.
The aim of this project is to identify how urban environments affect the quality of life and physical and emotional health of the elderly, considering the effects of the present crisis, and based on the analysis of active mobility. The project presents an applied dimension, aimed at determining the objective and subjective aspects making up the spaces that guarantee quality of life, in order to define lines of public action. The project is multidisciplinary and based on a mixed-methods approach. It combines traditional sources of information on urban space and mobility from surveys published by public institutions, opinions and perceptions extracted from interviews, and focus groups and information from geolocation and actigraphy under the design of Tracking Living Labs. The sequential methodology culminates with the design of intervention models and returns the obtained results to society through the dissemination of specific actions.
• "Understanding Societal Views on Carbon Pricing". (Jeroen van den Bergh. Institute of Environmental Science and Technology ICTA-UAB)
This project aims to improve our understanding of the reasons behind public preferences for carbon pricing (CP). Many experts regard CP as crucial to stopping climate change, while others are strongly opposed to it. The core questions of the project are: How does support for CP relate to factors such as knowledge about its functioning? And how is it associated with the design of CP, in terms of carbon taxation versus cap-and-trade, or using CP revenues to reduce taxes on labour or poor households, or to subsidize renewable energy? A variety of stakeholders will be studied, including citizens, academics, and representatives of think tanks, NGOs, industry, finance, media and policy makers. This will involve interviews and large-scale online surveys. We will formulate policy recommendations for the design of, and public information on, global and regional CP. This will integrate experiences in regions where CP experiments have been undertaken, which may provide particular lessons for Catalonia.