Application of sustainable solutions to reduce the impact
of heavy rains and extreme temperatures

Location

Main location: Barcelona, Spain

Environmental areas addressed

The Barcelona Living Lab is focused on the Climate Action and Extreme Events. However, having in mind that adaptation measures should be sustainable, it has a transversal axe related with Energy Consumption and Water Cycle.

About

The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB, located at NE of the Iberian Peninsula), is made up to 36 municipalities having a total surface of 636 km² and 3,239,337 inhabitants. Barcelona is one of the most populated cities in the world (160 inh./ha in a surface of 10135.3 ha in 2018). Furthermore, the touristic activity has increased enormously in the last decades (32,571,533 overnight stays in 2018). To the west of the AMB there is the Collserola mountain (512 m.a.s.l.) where all streams that cross Barcelona city are born. To the south, there is the Llobregat River (surface basin of 4,948 km²) and to the north the Besós River (1038.31 km²). This orography, together with the Mediterranean climate itself, favours the generation of flash-floods and surface water floods. On the other hand, the region experiences hot summers with daily and night temperatures above 35ºC and 23ºC respectively. The high thermal stress is accentuated by the proximity of the sea, which contributes to also have a high humidity. Climate scenarios point to an increase in heavy rainfalls and extreme temperatures. The main challenge of the Barcelona Living Lab is the development of adaptation measures that decrease the impact of extremes without increasing the impact on climate and environmental change.

Successful Citizen Science Campaign in Malgrat de Mar: Study on the Urban Heat Island Effect

The second weekend of May, 15 citizens of Malgrat de Mar participated in a citizen science campaign to study the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, organized in collaboration with the I-CHANGE Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events.

X Science Festival at University of Barcelona

The I-CHANGE Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events, represented by the GAMA team, has participated in the X Science Festival of University of Barcelona (UB) with the board game: ‘Our Climate Story’.

Climate Change and adaptation of Forest Management

On May 17, Dr. María Carmen Llasat, head of the I-CHANGE Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events (BLLEE), gave a training workshop on climate change. This workshop was part of the “Climate Change and adaptation of Forest Managment” course.

Mani in Mappa on Tour: Driving Engagement for Sustainable Mobility

As part of the Horizon 2020 I-CHANGE project, Mani in Mappa is a citizen science activity where even ordinary individuals have the opportunity to contribute to research and solving real problems that impact our communities.

A first look at Extreme Events in the municipality of Castelldefels evaluated by a school student

​From August 2023 to January 2024, a High School Student from Institut Les Marines collaborated with the Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events. The work is focused on extreme events related to extreme temperatures, heavy rainfalls, and floods in Castelldefel. 

Science for transformation: I-CHANGE citizen science activities in the Seminar of Citizen Science with the Catalan Third Social Sector Platform

Between 6-8 of November, the University of Barcelona and the Barcelona Social Hub organized the first Co-organized Citizen Science Training.

The Barcelona Living Lab engaged citizens in evalutating Extreme Events

During the summer 2023, the Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events (BLLEE) contacted three citizens that were interested in participating in a campaign to evaluate the extreme temperatures in metropolitan environments, and participating in the analysis of the data recorded.

The Barcelona Living Lab organized an EU partner event activity during the European Green Week

The research group GAMA from the Department of Applied Physics at the University of Barcelona organized a citizen science activity in the Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events to participate.

Smart Citizen Kits already in place at 5 different Schools in Barcelona

The Barcelona Living Lab on Extreme Events (BLLEE), created into the I-CHANGE project, is glad to communicate the successful installation of the Smart Citizen Kits (low-cost pollution sensors) at five schools of Fundació Jesuïtes Educació that are member of the network of Escoles+Sostenibles of Barcelona.

Barcelona Living Lab participates in the Va de Besòs festival

The motto of the day was: wellness, health, sustainability, nature and historic memory.

Experiments

The experiments will be decided through a co-creative process, that will take into account the following considerations:

  1. Involve citizens and stakeholders in the green European transition project based on more sustainable adaptation measures to face heavy rains / floods and extreme temperatures.
  2. Knowledge transference from the academic field to different sectors of the population for them empowerment in facing extreme events.
  3. Promote and generate a mutual learning environment.
  4. Identification of the main problems related to the disaster cycle, especially those aspects related with social behaviour and communication.
  5. Improve the early warning system
  6. Identification of the existing adaptation solutions and which are the main drivers and barriers to overcome for implementation.
  7.  The execution of a co-creative processes to propose and prioritize new nature-based solutions (NBS) in the Living-Lab territory.
  8. Develop new citizen cooperation networks to face extreme situations.
  9. Look for new cross-cutting solutions that take into account the ODS to be defined through the co-creation process in the first workshops.

How to participate?

Please contact the Living Lab Team for futher information via Email.

Background

Between 1981 and 2015, there were 109 episodes of flooding in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, of which 64 affected the city of Barcelona. They were usually consequence of heavy and local rains that caused minor damage, thanks to the existing management measures, but hinder the development of daily life and seriously affect traffic and the consequent pollution. Heavy rains in this region are expected to increase as a result of climate change, therefore, the adaptation measures need to be improved. 52.8% of the surface area of the AMB is urban type, implying a notable Urban Heat Island effect. Coastal peri-urban areas register about 4°C less than in the middle of the city. For an average summer day (24ºC-27ºC), the risk of mortality is 40% higher than the average risk of mortality in most of the city; for a heat wave, this relative risk is greater than 80% in half part of the city. Future scenarios point to an increase of the relative risk that can overcome 100% in all the city. In this case the most usual adaptation measure is the installation of conditioned air, that dramatically increase the energy consumption.

Partners

Our main partners are the University of Barcelona and the Fundació Bosch i Gimpera. We have the support since the very beginning of I-CHANGE, of the company BCASA, SA, and the Advisory Council of Sustainable Development of Catalonia.

Contacs

Email

GAMA Team

Floodup and related activities

Contact

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037193.