UIC Barcelona contributes to a report outlining a strategy for a more sustainable and resilient urban model for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona

Lecturer Lorenzo Chelleri is the academic coordinator for a study instigated by the Catalonia Europe Foundation as part of the Re-City project

The report titled El cambio climático en el área metropolitana de Barcelona, hacia un modelo urbano más sostenible y resiliente (‘Climate change in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, towards a more sustainable and resilient urban model’) was presented on 17 December, having been set in motion by the Catalonia Europe Foundation as part of the Re-City project. The presentation was followed by a discussion moderated by the lecturer from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture Lorenzo Chelleri, who was also the report’s academic coordinator.  Isabelle Anguelovski, ICREA researcher and director of the Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability, and Antonio Turiel, CSIC scientific researcher for the Institute of Marine Sciences, also took part in the discussion. The three experts explored the need to align COVID-19 crisis responses with urban transformation goals inspired by climate emergency and based on the results of the report, which analyses some fifty indicators measuring the impact of climate change and adaptation and mitigation efforts in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and its municipalities.  

The report confirms, for example, an increase in the frequency of heat waves, which since 2015 have become an annual phenomenon for some municipalities.  In terms of air quality, atmospheric pollution levels in the entire Metropolitan Area of Barcelona are still above levels considered acceptable by the World Health Organisation. 

The document reflects a positive trend as regards electricity consumption and waste production.  Despite the fact that the population of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona continues to grow, these two indicators are decreasing. However, this downward trend is beginning to plateau and even reverse. Results regarding urban mobility also show positive developments.  Today, walking is the most common method of transport in the Metropolitan Area, practised by almost half the population.  There is also a notable positive evolution in the use of bikes, which has shown the most impressive increase over recent years.  On the other hand, approximately a quarter of the population still uses private vehicles.  

The report concludes that the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona is still far from reaching its regional, national and European targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption levels.  In response, the document outlines a strategy based on sufficient and reliable data that will help optimise climate change adaptation and mitigation policies in these municipalities, by redistributing skills and resources and identifying which areas of the region need greater investment.  

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