In the inevitable long Winter we’re having, I’ve set my sights on a warmer city for my next sustainable European city! Break out the paella because I’m talking about Barcelona, Spain!
In part with their prominent sustainable urban planning project, Barcelona is placing a central focus on air pollution from vehicles in the city. While many European cities have instigated car bans, Barcelona is implementing car-free superblocks, moving traffic to larger boundary roads. This is much more extreme than other European cities. Additionally, Barcelona is using more eco-friendly options for alternative transportation. They have long been advocates of bike sharing, implementing their own system in 2007. But they have gone further than that by investing in electric cars as taxi fleets and making many buses electric. In a city full of hustle and bustle, Barcelona is working hard to make sustainability a top priority!
As a city whose main income is based on tourism, Barcelona has worked hard to share their sustainability efforts with visiting tourists. In fact, Barcelona is the first city in the world to gain Biosphere accreditation as a sustainable tourism destination. They are committed to maintaining green spaces and parks, such as the Park Güell, designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudí.
Just researching this amazing city makes me want to hop on a plane to Barcelona. But for now I’ll just have to live with googling pictures and imagining what sixty degree weather feels like!
Written by Emma Briggs, Class of 2018
Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons