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.

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

Date: 2017-10-04

Gentrificación verde y salud

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. Scientists consider that greener cities are not healthier and more equal for everyone.

The creation of parks and green areas in urban centres have positive effects on the health of residents. However, a new article published by the research group at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) and the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbours could be pushed aside when it comes to the health effects of "ecologisation" and may not benefit equally from these positive effects on health.

The research is based on evidence that the "greenification" of cities, thanks to the creation of parks, green areas and ecological corridors, are beneficial to the physical and psychological health of people. This growing tendency to "ecologise" cities improves the quality of air, motivates people to exercise, and favours the creation of stronger social relations among residents, thereby lowering chronic stress levels and helping to improve people's health in general.

Nevertheless, researchers at the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability (BCNUEJ) of the ICTA-UAB, co-led by sociologists and geographers Isabelle Anguelovski and James Connolly, established that the process of recovering natural spaces in cities tends to produce a phenomenon known as "green gentrification", in which the original population of a middle-low or low class district is pushed out by new inhabitants with higher economic status, drawn by the proximity of new parks, green areas and more attractive housing offers. In consequence, housing prices rise considerably and more vulnerable neighbours can no longer afford this growth in prices or the real estate pressure, causing them to seek housing in other less attractive areas with a lower quality of life.

Thus, the process of "green gentrification" contributes to perpetrating poverty by geographically concentrating the vulnerable population and may produce a rupture in the already existing social relations of a neighbourhood, as well as increase chronic stress and negatively affect the mental health of these residents. "Using what we known about green gentrification, we want to understand its impact on the health of residents living in neighbourhoods which have been gentrified by green areas. We believe green gentrification can modify the health effects of being exposed to green areas", says lead researcher Helen Cole, who affirms that greener cities are not equally fair and healthy for everyone.

"Public health professionals defend the greenification or ecologisation of cities and state their health benefits without taking into account these dynamics, and without thinking about what they imply for the relation of health equality in cities", Cole explains. For this reason, she considers that researchers in public health and epidemiology must take into account this situation and trust in a more dynamic community model to explain the possible unintentional social consequences of making cities greener and examine the impact of gentrification on the health of neighbourhoods, especially those which have become green neighbourhoods.

At the same time, Helen Cole and several other collaborators from the research group recently published a comment in the journal The Lancet - Public Health which highlighted the danger of using transversal urban health initiatives to justify the construction of new luxurious housing promotions and gentrification.

References:

Cole HVS, Garcia Lamarca M, Connolly JJT, et al. Are green cities healthy and equitable? Unpacking the relationship between health, green space and gentrification. J Epidemiol Community Health Published Online First: 19 August 2017. doi: 10.1136/jech-2017-209201

Cole H., Shokry G., Connolly J J T., Pérez-del-Pulgar C., Alonso J., Anguelovski I. "Can Healthy Cities be made really healthy?". The Lancet Public Health. 2017, vol. 2, num. 9, p. 387. Doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(17)30166-4

ICTA's Activities