Three colours to indicate air quality and pollution episodes

Barcelona City Council, the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) and the Government of Catalonia are to use the same icons and images to inform the public about the warning and activation of pollution episodes in the city caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) and PM10 suspended particulate matter.

16/10/2018 19:45 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

When the Air Pollution Monitoring and Forecasting Network run by the Government of Catalonia activates a preventative warning stage or pollution episode due to high levels of nitrogen oxide (NO2) or PM10 particulate matter the various communication channels operated by the three organisations will use the same colour code to indicate air quality:

  • Red for pollution episodes caused by NO2 and/or PM10
  • Yellow for preventative warnings of pollution caused by NOand/or PM10
  • Green when warning stages and pollution episodes are deactivated.

Besides offering up-to-date information on potential pollution episodes, information and recommendations will also be given relating to mobility, health and prevention, as well as municipal measures being taken in each case.

Recommendations for the public during a warning stage or pollution episode

The City Council advises people to get around on foot or by bicycle using streets with less traffic, to use public transport and to avoid using private vehicles. If there is no alternative, car-sharing is recommended.

Similarly, people are also advised to adjust home heating or cooling systems and to be particularly aware of the effects of air pollution, adapting sports routines to the times of day when pollution levels are lower.

Traffic restrictions during pollution episodes caused by NO2

During a pollution episode due to NO2, besides the advice on health and mobility and up-to-date information on air quality, detailed information will also be given on traffic restrictions in the city’s low emissions zones. The warning of potential restrictions will be issued 48 hours in advance. The restrictions will be in place from 7 am to 8 pm from Monday to Friday for the duration of the episode.

The restrictions affect vehicles which have not been issued with the DGT environmental rating badge:

  • Cars with petrol engines registered before January 2000 and diesel cars registered before January 2006.
  • Vans registered before 1 October 1994.
  • Motorbikes and mopeds registered before 2003, prior to the Euro 2 rating, as from 1 December 2018.

It is not obligatory to display the badge issued by the DGT. The city police will control circulation by reading vehicle number plates.

Extra public transport will also be laid on, with 10% more services, and on-street parking prices will be increased in blue and green zones for non-residents, except for ECO and zero-emissions vehicles.


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