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

El grupo de investigación BCNUEJ (www.bcnuej.org) del ICTA-UAB (https://ictaweb.uab.cat/) y del IMIM (www.imim.es) 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).

ICTAS2020 Conference: Important Update regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak

ICTAS2020 Conference: Important Update regarding the Coronavirus Outbreak .

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  .
News
Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Date: 2020-03-11


Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power. This is clear from a study developed by researchers from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), published in the journal Cities, which analyses the complexity of the processes of implementation of urban measures against climate change, with the example of Barcelona's "Superblocks" as a case study.

Cities are high producers of greenhouse gas emissions and urban residents are under high risk of negative climate impacts. However, there are strong untapped opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation. These projects promote shifts in the urbanization of cities, which are meant to challenge current unsustainable forms of development. In this regard, the study, led by Christos Zografos researcher from the Department of Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University, and co-signed by ICTA-UAB researchers Kai Klause, Isabelle Anguelovski, and James O'Connolly, analyses the process of implementing the “Superblocks” in the Poblenou neighbourhood of Barcelona.

Recent studies determine that Barcelona is particularly vulnerable to climate change-related threats, specifically sea level rise and floods, increasing temperature including urban heat waves, the loss of biodiversity and more frequent and intense drought periods. Within the framework of the Climate Plan (2018-2030), Barcelona launched the “Superblocks” program, which aims to drastically reorganize urban mobility and land use. A superblock is a group of city blocks delimited in a perimeter that can only be accessed by vehicles that have their origin or destination there. Traffic runs outside while the interior is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists.

So far superblocks have been implemented in two areas (Poblenou in 2016 and Sant Antoni in 2018), but the City Council plans to remodel the city in 503 superblocks thereby reducing car traffic by 21% while restructuring the public transit and cycling system and infrastructure. In this way, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 40%, as well as the 3,500 premature deaths per year associated with air pollution, converting 60% of the space occupied by car use into public pedestrian and neighbourhood leisure spaces.

Political and neighbourhood forces for and against its implementation became mobilized. "The study analyses these resistances in Barcelona as an extrapolated example of the difficulties of urban transformational adaptation of cities in the face of climate change," explains Christos Zografos.

The results of the study show that the everyday political struggle for municipal authority that is behind much of the opposition to superblocks has been scarcely highlighted in the international literature. This fight is materialized in clashing visions for the future city, and who has the political influence to define them. The difficulties are also related to discontent over the public participation aspects of project implementation and a perceived imposition of authority. "The civic and political contestation over the authority of 'climate champions' (or climate policy drivers) can jeopardize not only the achievements of transformational adaptation to climate change, but also the political survival of those who drive them", the authors of the article add.

According to ICTA-UAB researcher Isabelle Anguelovski, these actions “can be obstructed not only out of fear of the material and political effects of the transformation measures, but also because of the message it conveys as concerns who is entitled to decide for the common good”. Therefore, she indicates, "brave politicians that take on struggles for authority in the short-term are needed to achieve mid- to long-term transformational goals”.
 

Scientific article
Zografos C., Klause K.A., Connolly J.J.T., Anguelovski I. (2020). The everyday politics of urban transformational adaptation: Struggles for authority and the Barcelona superblock project. Cities.

Available here  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264275118308217

ICTA's Activities