Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.

Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

Given our current climate emergency, recently acknowledged by the UAB, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has drawn up a proposal urging the University to put into action a new travel policy to tackle one of its most polluting activities: Flying.

New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

ICTA-UAB to organize the International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes

ICTA-UAB will host the International Conference 2020 on Low-Carbon Lifestyle Changes with the aim of exploring the role of changing lifestyles in climate change mitigation.

Iron availability in seawater, key to explaining the amount and distribution of fish in the oceans

People tend to pay more attention to how much food they are eating, than with how rich their diet is in essential micronutrients like iron.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life’s diversity

Limits to growth lie at the heart of how all living things function, according to a new study carried out by ICTA-UAB researchers  .

Jeroen van den Bergh, awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University of the Netherlands

The environmental economist at ICTA-UAB Prof. Dr Jeroen van den Bergh was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University of the Netherlands.

High lead concentrations found in Amazonian wildlife

Researchers from ICTA-UAB and the UVic-UCC detect high levels of lead concentration in wildlife samples from the Peruvian Amazon caused by lead-based ammunition and oil-related pollution in extraction areas.

Study gauges trees’ potential to slow global warming in the future

The Pyrenean forests, the Cantabrian coast and Galicia show an important potential to accumulate even larger amounts of carbon dioxide in the future and thus help to slow down the increase in CO2 concentrations which are warming the planet.

Why do environmentalists eat meat?

A study by researchers at the ICTA-UAB analyses the reasons why environmentally-minded scientists find it difficult to give up meat consumption, one of the world's greatest environmental problems.

La gestión del verde urbano permite incrementar la presencia de pájaros en las ciudades

Incrementar la biodiversidad del verde urbano permitiría aumentar la presencia de aves paseriformes en las ciudades mediterráneas, según un estudio científico realizado por investigadores del Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología Ambientales de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) que analiza qué estrategias hay que implementar sobre la vegetación urbana para conseguir "naturalizar" las ciudades favoreciendo la entrada de flora y fauna.

The Ebro River annually dumps 2.2 billion microplastics into the sea

An ICTA-UAB study analyses the distribution and accumulation of microplastics from one of the main rivers of the western Mediterranean.
Students of the SAES Master’s Degree enter the second round of the Urban Greenhouse Challenge

Date: 2020-02-12


The Team Bagua, consisting of five students of the ICTA-UAB Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental, Economic and Social Sustainability, is one of the top-20 teams to enter the second round of the Urban Greenhouse Challenge, an International competition organized by the Wageningen University & Research. The SosteniPra group, led by Xavier Gabarrell and formed by researchers Perla Zambrano, Joan Muñoz, Alexandra Peña and Susana Toboso, has been assessing the Team Bagua for the last six months.

In Urban Greenhouse Challenge, multidisciplinary student teams are challenged to bring professional food production (back) into urban neighbourhoods integrating social, economic, environmental and technical aspects in one coherent concept. This edition invited students to design an iconic and circular urban greenhouse to be based in the city of Dongguan, which is part of the Greater Bay Area in China, one of the world’s major metropoles.

The Selection Committee assessed the 53 teams participating in the first round according to criteria such as the relevance and attractiveness of the proposed program in relation to main conclusions of the context analysis and assignment, or the appropriateness of the choices regarding food production system, circularity, constructions system, business model and social interactions. The top-20 teams selected are spread over four continents and more than 8 countries.
At the end of February, the representatives of the top-20 teams will travel to China in order to visit the site and collect data, to get feedback from experts, and to explore the local context. 

The members of the Spanish team are Alejandro Rueda, Rachel Wilbertz, Olivia Manzart, Sofie De Brabander, Nicole Rodas and Ruijie Shi.

With climate change and global change becoming significantly important, urban farming offers an innovative way to address one of the large carbon emissions sectors, agriculture, while offering a viable adaptation system for food production. Through studying sustainability, they are looking forward to applying their interdisciplinary approach and knowledge into practice through urban farming.

Through innovation, they want to create a project that is sustainable, feasible and has low energy demands through the integration of the architecture and the inner system.

The proposal submitted by the Spanish team Bagua aspires to honour ancient Chinese philosophies while including modern innovation with their urban greenhouse design. Bagua refers to the identically named symbol used in Taoist philosophy. Consequently, the building is designed according to the Taoist philosophy, and includes and connects the different aspects of the Bagua. According to Taoist philosophy, in this world all things exist with their inseparable opposite. Therefore, the design of the building as well as its functions will aim to combine different opposites and try to enable an undisturbed flow between them. The concept is multi-functional, flexible and adaptive in order to meet changing community and crop production needs.

Bagua aims to meet the growing demands of locally produced food by producing nutritious food in a sustainable way. Beyond food production, the goal of Bagua is to build strong, connected and healthy communities. Bagua will strengthen and bring back Chinese traditional agriculture into the urban environment through connecting the local community to where their food comes from.

What are the main functions of the building?
First of all, Bagua is intended to provide fresh, healthy and nutritious food to the city dwellers and tourists. There will be the possibility to enjoy the freshly produced food at the 0km restaurant and tea house. The food will also be sold in the onsite market, to local restaurants and companies in Dongguan and delivered at home. Secondly, there will be a health center in which both traditional Chinese medicine (traditional Chinese herbs and teas grown in the greenhouse) and healthy activities will be offered to address health issues in the local community. Activities will focus on both physical and mental health, for example yoga, relaxation sessions and horticultural therapy. Thirdly, Bagua will contribute to building healthy communities by providing educational workshops to visitors, surrounding companies and universities. The workshops will focus on nutrition, cooking, gardening, composting and farming. The farm will also provide multi-functional spaces to be rented out for local businesses, art and music projects. Community cohesion will be improved through these different activities organized and the presence of community spaces and a community garden. Finally, Bagua will be a place to unwind and enjoy the surroundings, be connected to nature as well as to fellow visitors.

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