Proposal for a less polluted Barcelona

In this blog we will review the different actions taken by the city to fight pollution and improve air quality

The latest pollution data highlights the climate emergency we are experiencing today. At the beginning of this year, the city of Barcelona was alerted by high levels of air pollution caused by intense industrial activity, vehicle traffic and scarce rainfall that hinder the dispersion of pollutants.

To avoid this emergency situation, the City Council of Barcelona, in collaboration with public institutions, other city councils, local entities and companies, has determined nine measures to keep the air clean in the Barcelona metropolitan area, in an attempt to reduce the concentrations of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), suspended particulates under 10 microns in diameter (PM10), in order to protect people’s health.

The first measure is to reduce the number of journeys made in private vehicles. This action aims to reduce by 21% the number of journeys made in private vehicles in the metropolitan area, considered to be the main source of pollution by NO2 gases, compared to 2013 levels.

The second measure consists of facilitating the dispersion of suspended particles by increasing the hosing down of parks and non-asphalted squares and reducing powdery activities on construction sites.

The third measure is based on the fostering more sustainable public transport. In order to improve air quality, the City Council is committed to improving the public transport network, improve the tramlines connection and extend the city’s bicycle lane network. On days of high levels of atmospheric pollution, the public transport fleet is increased and the T-aire is activated, a transport ticket designed for citizens who enter the city or other municipalities in the low-emission zone in their private vehicle.

Propuestas para una Barcelona menos contaminada: hybrid electric bus - PCG Barcelona
Propuestas para una Barcelona menos contaminada: bicycles - PCG Barcelona

the fourth measure is to implement a sustainable urban model in the city by creating sustainable environments, prioritising local services and facilities, and building more green spaces and pedestrian priority areas. 

The fifth action is a commitment to the use of bicycles in order to reduce levels of air pollution. This measure consists of extending the city’s cycle lane network, improving signage and incorporating new bicycle parking places to encourage the population to use this transport method.

The sixth and seventh measures are based on favouring less polluting vehicles, with measures to encourage their use, such as fiscal benefits or parking places, and promoting the use of the electric vehicle, with the installation of new charging points throughout the city, complemented by the Bicing bicycle service with electric bicycle stations to enable users to enjoy both options. 

The eighth action promotes, with the help of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, a low-emission zone in the area around Barcelona’s ring roads, where traffic is restricted to the most polluting vehicles in order to protect air quality in favour of citizens. 

Finally, the ninth action is based on protecting the groups that are more sensitive to atmospheric pollution by proximity actions to protect their health, as municipal programs to improve air quality in school environments, as well as actions with pedagogical approaches to raise awareness.

In order to maintain a clean and less polluted city, we all together have to get involved: citizens, businesses and administrations. At PCG we encourage you to take part in these actions. Even small details are very important to take care of the air we breathe, and definitely, our health!

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