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News

Publication in Urban Climate

7 May 2021

In this study, we show the effectiveness of cool roofs and vegetation in reducing temperature in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB). We use the Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model with the urban scheme BEP+BEM.

Gara Villalba és entrevistada a “En directe a Ràdio 4”

8 April 2021

Aquest dimecres 7 d'abril, la doctora Gara Villalba ha estat entrevistada al programa "En directe a Ràdio 4", coordinat per Josep Cabayol. L'efecte d'illa de calor ha estat el principal tema d'interès dels entrevistadors. Villalba ha explicat que l'efecte d'illa de calor pot provocar diferències de fins a 10°C a les nits d'hivern entre els nuclis urbans i la perifèria.

Gara Villalba participa a “Vida Verda” de Radio 4

24 March 2021

La dra Gara Villalba va participar el passat 17 de març en un debat a Vida Verda, de radio4. Juntament amb Annalisa Giocoli (arquitecta urbanista de l'Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona), van debatre sobre el nexe entre l'energia, el menjar i aigua en el metabolisme urbà. Gara Villalba va explicar a Vida Verda com aconseguir una AMB més resilient mitjançant diferents estratègies.

Publication in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

15 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic unveiled the fragility of food sovereignty in cities and confirmed the close connection urban dwellers have with food. Although the pandemic was not responsible for a systemic failure, it suggested how citizens would accept and indeed support a transition toward more localized food production systems.

Publication in Journal of Industrial Ecology

10 March 2021

Housing estates, that is, mass social housing on middle‐ and high‐rise apartment blocks, in urban areas are found all over the world with very similar constructive patterns and a multiplicity of environmental and socio‐economic problems. Boosting new urban spaces of resource production involves citizens in sites which face social and economic needs.

Publication in Landscape and Urban Planning

3 March 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic newly brings food resilience in cities to our attention and the need to question the desired degree of food self-sufficiency through urban agriculture. We argue in this essay that this development has widely taken place due to three blind spots in urban planning.

Publication in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

4 February 2021

Trends of extreme-temperature episodes in cities are increasing (in frequency, magnitude and duration) due to regional climate change in interaction with urban effects. Urban morphologies and thermal properties of the materials used to build them are factors that influence.

Publication in Science of the Total Environment

2 February 2021

Urban agriculture, while being a promising solution to increase food sovereignty in cities, can lead to an unprecedented discharge of nutrient and fertilizer-related emissions into the urban environment. Especially relevant are nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), due to their contribution to marine and freshwater eutrophication.

Publication in Resources, Conservation & Recycling

7 January 2021

Optimizing urban resources through circular economy principles offers the opportunity to close loops and improve production systems, but an assessment of these systems through a combination of circularity and environmental tools is missing from the literature.

Participation at the AGU Fall Meeting 2020

11 December 2020

A lot of good science is being presented at AGU Fall Meetting 2020. Some of the presentations are focused in the COVID-19 pandemic. The URBAG group presented a poster presentation that wants to reflect upon lessons learned from the COVID-19 mitigation measures in terms of reduced mobility and its effect on urban air pollution.

Publication in Frontiers in Plant Science

12 November 2020

Urban agriculture systems can significantly contribute towards mitigating the impacts of inefficient and complex food supply chains and increase urban food sovereignty. Moreover, improving these urban agriculture systems in terms of nutrient management can lead to a better environmental performance.

Publication in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening

16 September 2020

The effective integration of biodiversity, ecosystem functions and ecosystem services (ES) indicators into green infrastructure (GI) planning and conservation constitutes an important challenge for landscape and urban planners. In this study, we developed an operational framework for GI planning at the landscape scale in the Province of Barcelona.

Badia del Vallès consumption patterns

14 September 2020

Knowing the consumption patterns of the residents related to the occupation of the buildings and the family structure to which they belong. This study is part of central research of the Autonomous University of Barcelona with the collaboration of the city council of Badia del Vallès, which studies the urban metabolism of the municipality, being the typical housing estate built in the 70s.

Publication in Atmospheric Research

31 August 2020

This study evaluates the performance of urban schemes integrated in the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) using Local Climate Zones (LCZ) as land use classification. We applied two multi-layer urban schemes: 1) Building Effect Parameterization (BEP) and 2) Building Energy Model coupled with BEP (BEP + BEM), over the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (MAB) at 1km2 horizontal resolution for July 2016.

Qualitat de l’aire durant el confinament

4 August 2020

El seguiment de la qualitat de l’aire de l'Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) durant les setmanes de confinament i desconfinament ens ha mostrat com varia la contaminació atmosfèrica amb la mobilitat de la gent amb vehicles. S'ha pogut observar una reducció que va arribar fins a un 75% en molts casos com es pot apreciar comparant l'any 2019 i el 2020.

Publication in Landscape and Urban Planning

3 August 2020

Urban development and the sprawl of transport infrastructures have disregarded the crucial function of metropolitan landscape in provisioning human well-being and biodiversity. This research aims to contribute to the challenges of Planning for Sustainability by proposing a Socioecological Integrated Analysis (SIA) to support the Land Use Master Plan in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, to conciliate urban development with the performance of surrounding open spaces.

El confinament millora la qualitat de l’aire a BCN

25 June 2020

Entrem en la segona fase de desconfinament a la zona metropolitana de Barcelona, i veiem que la reducció de la contaminació de l’aire de l’Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) en front a la mateixa època de l'any passat torna a ser significativa, donat que al trobar-nos en una situació sinòptica meteorològica de baixes pressions, hi ha més dispersió de contaminants i les concentracions acumulades són més baixes.

Public green spaces in times of Covid-19

16 June 2020

Public green spaces provide essential benefits for people, especially in urban areas. The possibility to perform outdoor physical recreation, to appreciate the scenic quality of a landscape and to enjoy outdoor time with friends and family are only some among the multiple benefits that can be enjoyed in public green spaces.

Publication in Science of The Total Environment

3 June 2020

This study aims to assess the technical and environmental feasibility of applying a struvite recovery and reuse strategy to meet the P requirements to fertilize the agricultural fields of an urban region.

Urban ecosystem services justice

14 May 2020

As ecosystem services are becoming more and more important not least in urban planning, there is an urgent need to critically think about "Weaving notions of justice into urban ecosystem services research and practice".

URBAG als mitjans de comunicació

27 April 2020

Gara Villalba ha mantingut una conversa amb el mitjà digital TOT Barcelona parlant de l’impacte que està tenint el confinament en la contaminació atmosfèrica. La investigadora exposa com cap dels escenaris previstos de futur preveia reduccions de contaminació com les que estem vivint durant el confinament. Així, aquest escenari únic és una oportunitat d’aprenentatge que cal aprofitar.

Barcelona air quality modeling using WRF-CHEM

30 March 2020

We present the first results of a preliminary study aimed to model the air quality over the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (MAB) for July 2016. The WRF-Chem model is used at high resolution (3km) with a multi-layer canopy model using detailed information (urban morphology). The model results have been compared with the Xarxa de Vigilància i Previsió de la Contaminació Atmosfèrica (XVPCA).

New publication in Journal of Cleaner Production

26 March 2020

Urban agriculture systems, such as rooftop greenhouses, are attractive alternatives for mitigating the impacts of the extensive food supply chains that currently feed cities. In this study, we study the opportunity that nutrient recirculation offers to improve the environmental performance of agricultural systems.

Bojos per la Ciència

15 March 2020

En el marc del programa Bojos per la Ciència de la Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, l’Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) conjuntament amb el Departament d’Enginyeria Química, Biològica i Ambiental de la UAB impartirà el nou Bojos per la Terra.

Festa de la Ciència, Barcelona

6 November 2019

This past weekend, 26 and 27th of October, the Sostenipra research group from ICTA-UAB which includes URBAG team members, along with the GROOF project took part in the Science fair “Festa de la Ciència” coordinated by the City of Barcelona.