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Summer 2021 – URBAG Newsletter

18 August 2021



Greetings from the URBAG team at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (ICTA-UAB)!
We are happy to share with you our second newsletter, to keep you updated of what we have done so far in our project URBAG: Integrated System Analysis of Urban Vegetation and Agriculture.
You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up through our website urbag.eu or you have collaborated with us and shown interest in our project. If you want more frequent updates you can regularly visit our site and follow our twitter account. For past newsletter, click here.

URBAG’s project:
URBAG aims to find out how urban green infrastructures can be most efficient in contributing to urban sustainability. We will evaluate which combinations of urban, peri-urban agriculture and green spaces result in the best performance in terms of local and global environmental impact. For this purpose, we will use novel and comprehensive analysis that will integrate the lifecycle impacts of the resources required for green infrastructures with the understanding of how green infrastructures impact the urban atmosphere interaction. For more details we invite you to visit the project section in our site.

Meet our team!
We are a highly multidisciplinary group, formed by three postdoctoral fellows, four PhD students, a project manager and the PI. After much time working online, we were happy to celebrate the arrival of summer altogether, including friends and family:

We invite you to learn more about each of us by visiting our team section on our site.

Highlighted activities:

ICTA- Metropolitan Science- Pactitioners Exchange
We have helped to create a platform to exchange and share knowledge and experience between science and practitioners in an urban context. The first activity has been the URBAG co-creation workshop to evaluate and explore the services, benefits, and costs provided by the implementation of the Green Corridors with the participation and collaboration of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB). Green Corredors are urban strips with a high presence of vegetation that cross the urban fabric to promote active mobility, biodiversity, and naturalize the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB). The Urban Master Plan currently being drafted by the AMB has the ambitious goal of implementing 750 km of Green Corridors in the next years. The workshop presentation and results are available here.

URBAG participation at the EGU General Assembly 2021:
The URBAG members presented three studies at the European Geophysical Union (EGU) 2021 conference held on line this year:

presented by Cristina Madrid

presented by Ricard Segura

presented by Sergi Ventura

Here you can find all the abstracts and presentations.

URBAG participation at SURE 2021 Conference:

URBAG was present at the Thrid World Conference of the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE), which was carried out in Poznań, Poland. During the congress, David A. Camacho presented its multi-criteria decision approach for the evaluation of Nature-based Solutions, as well as the case study of Green Corridors in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, where the model was applied for the first time.

Example of a presentation slide

For more information about the congress, please visit

Our contribution during COVID-19 restrictions:
-Daily monitoring of the air quality in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona through our web site, please check.

-Publication: Urban agriculture — A necessary pathway towards urban resilience and global sustainability?
J. Langemeyer, C. Madrid, A. Mendoza, G. Villalba. Landscape and Urban Planning; Volume 210, June 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2021.104055

-Publication: Envisioning the Future of European Food Systems: Approaches and Research Priorities After COVID-19
M. Vittuari, et al. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 5:642787. March 2021. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2021.642787

URBAG in the media:
In recent months, the URBAG group has been present in local, national and international media. Here we make a compilation of some interviews and mentions of our articles:


El poder vertebrador de la (re)Naturalització. Fem ecociutat
Ràdio 4 – rtve

Dimecres pel Futur
Ràdio 4 – rtve

El cafè de a Ràdio
Radio Sabadell

Informativos fin de semana
La Sexta

Les cobertes blanques mitigarien els efectes d’onada de calor
Cope Catalunya

La Xarxa (radio Sant Cugat, radio Ciutat de Badalona, la Municipal de Terrassa, Ràdio Sabadell. Ràdio Castellar i el Prat Ràdio)

La tarde
La Cope

¿Pintar las cubiertas de blanco mitigaría las olas de calor?
El Periodico

URBAG publications:

Exploring the Potential of Using Carbonyl Sulfide to Track the Urban Biosphere Signal
G. Villalba, M. Whelan, S.A. Montzka, P.J.Cameron-Smith, M. Fischer, A. Zumkehr, T. Hilton, J. Stinecipher, I. Baker, R. P. Bambha, H.A. Michelsen, B.W. LaFranchi, C. Estruch, E. Campbell
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. Volume 126, Issue 13. June 2021. doi: 10.1029/2020JD034106

Optimizing irrigation in urban agriculture for tomato crops in rooftop greenhouses
F. Parada, X. Gabarrell, M. Rufí-Salís, V. Arcas-Pilz, P. Muñoz, G. Villalba
Science of The Total Environment. June 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.scitoenv.2021.148689

Incorporating user preferences in rooftop food-energy-water production through integrated sustainability assessment
S. Toboso-Chavero, C. Madrid-López, X. Gabarrell, G. Villalba
Environmental Research Comunications. Volume 3, number 6. June 2021. doi: 10.1088/2515-7620/abffa5

Improving the Fertigation of Soilless Urban Vertical Agriculture Through the Combination of Struvite and Rhizobia Inoculation in Phaseolus vulgaris
V. Arcas-Pilz, F. Parada, G. Villalba, M. Rufí-Salís, A. Rosell-Melé, X. Gabarrell
Frontiers in Plant Science. Volume 12. May 2021. doi: 103389/fpls.2021.649304


Abating heat waves in a coastal Mediterranean city: What can cool roofs and vegetation contribute?
J. Gilabert, S. Ventura, R. Segura, A. Martilli, A. Badia, C. Llasat, J. Corbera, G. Villalba
Urban Climate 37. May 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100863


More than the sum of the parts: System analysis of the usability of roofs in housing estates
S. Toboso, G. Villalba, X. Gabarrell, C. Madrid
Journal of Industrial Ecology. March 2021. doi: 10.1111/jiec.13114




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