Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Mapping out the impacts of pollution upon Indigenous Peoples worldwide

Sulphur mine in Ijen, Java, Indonesia. Picture by Joan de la Malla.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Encuesta: El rol del verde residencial durante el confinamiento por el brote de COVID-19 en España

El grupo de investigación BCNUEJ ( del ICTA-UAB ( y del IMIM ( está realizando un estudio sobre el papel del verde residencial (vegetación interior, en balcones, en terrazas, cubiertas verdes, jardines particulares, etc.

ICTA-UAB shares protective material with hospitals

ICTA-UAB is since last Monday 16 March 2020, an Institute with Restricted Access. Most of the laboratories are empty, the Scientific and Technical Services are closed, only the basic services are working and most of the people is working and staying at home.

Higher and earlier pollen concentrations expected for this spring

Spring and summer pollination will begin a few days earlier than usual and in important numbers, reaching higher than average levels (from the 1994-2019 period).

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

What elements and characteristics should forests have to influence human health?

Despite the increasing interest of the scientific community and society towards the potential of forests as a source of human health, the existing scientific literature does not allow for a coherent relationship between the type of forest and different health variables.

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.

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  .
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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