The League of Green Cities

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In 2017, the Cartographic and Geological Institute of Catalonia delivered to the City Council of Badalona a work called Urban Sustainability Atlas, which can be consulted online. Our city commissioned this document in order to study environmental aspects of the municipality related to the quality of its urban green, the thermal efficiency of its roofs, its photovoltaic potential, the level of light pollution or the thermal effects of the highway infrastructure in the neighborhoods that it crosses.

Thus, for example, we know that the highway influences its immediate surroundings by a margin of up to 2.5 ° C, and that this differential reduces the sections of the infrastructure that have vigorous vegetation. We also know that the roofs of the industrial zones or of the most important facilities of the city -the Olympic pavilion or the Magic Badalona- have a very important capacity to accommodate renewable energies.

Likewise, values ​​of light emission of light flux that escape to the sky were obtained, and we know which luminaires are outside the regulations, which would allow planning more efficient investments in lighting. And a precise map of the thermal efficiency of all the roofs of the city’s buildings was obtained, which allows us to know which ones retain heat better, and which ones less. That fieldwork is three years old, but with the expectation of Next funds, it makes perfect sense, especially if we now put into play the knowledge we have acquired when carrying out projects that can benefit.

The work was raised with sensorized aerial flights that, in addition to the data we had, provided other valuable data, such as the quality of our urban green. The vigor of our vegetation, with data from the near infrared channel, where the vegetation is highly reflected, and red, where it is strongly absorbed by photosynthesis. This work determines the vegetation vigor index, in a city that has 96.5 hectares of urban greenery, 25,000 planted trees of 85 different species and the Sierra de Marina, and offers in this field much room for improvement.

In fact, a relevant piece of information emerged from this study is that a good part of our vegetation is not of high quality (we have a large percentage of not very vigorous) and that, counting the entire Sierra de Marina, we cover little more than 40% of green. our municipal term.

Having all this data is, or should be, an incentive when it comes to setting investment priorities. And we have seen, for example, that the City Council plans to act precisely in one of the parks, Cerro de en Caritg, which that study showed as the depository of mediocre vegetation. Good news, yes, it would be much better if a plan were put in place that had private individuals and institutions that currently offer subsidies for the implementation of photovoltaics on the roofs of our buildings, public and private, residential and facilities.

Along these lines, Barcelona has recently presented an initiative, the Barcelona Sustainable Energy Mechanism (MES Barcelona), which the city could copy by counting on local companies that already operate in the city. A private-public book collaboration.

Becoming a green city is an objective that the European Commission promotes with calls such as those it makes through, a movement of European cities committed to implementing plans to improve air, water, biodiversity, noise or waste management. In all these aspects, the city can improve. And there are already cities in the State that have become involved in the network, such as Vitoria or Zaragoza, along with French, Italian or Portuguese cities, to mention those that may seem more to us.

At Restarting Badalona we believe that green cities not only make us live better, but also attract talent and investment. The effort to have cities with a good deployment of urban green, with a preferential attention to the thermal efficiency of their buildings and a friendly urban mobility, and that bet on the massive incorporation of renewable funds will have a prize. And his – our – citizens will win.

Ferran Falcó, President of the Restarting Badalona association