Be part of the solution
The fight against climate change is a colossal challenge that calls for rethinking the entire organisation of the city from top to bottom. It is the whole urban metabolism that needs to change so that the city stops being part of the problem and becomes part of the solution.
Climate change, that future seen as dystopian and far-off by many, is already making its effects felt in everyday life. Scientists have long warned us of this phenomenon, but the resistance to accept such an awkward truth has prevented us from adopting measures when there was still time. We are now feeling it more and more severely in the form of extreme weather changes that cause damage and suffering. And if we don’t stop the underlying cause, greenhouse gas emissions will get worse.
Barcelona is suffering most acutely from the impact of global warming due to its location and its urban make-up. This part of the world is heating up faster than the rest. While the temperature of the planet has risen by an average of 1°C since the pre-industrial era, it has risen by 1.5°C in the Mediterranean basin. It is also one of the densest metropolises in the world, with less living space and more traffic. These conditions contribute to the heat island effect. During the first decade of this century, the Raval observatory recorded around five torrid nights a year, that is, nights when the minimum temperature rises above 25°C. It recorded twenty-one such nights last year.
City traffic not only gives off heat and contributes to global warming with its CO2 emissions, but it is also responsible for the high levels of pollution that Barcelona endures and that causes a thousand premature deaths every year. The climate emergency is therefore directly affecting us. Steps have already been taken in the right direction, but the fight against climate change is a colossal challenge that requires us to do much more, and more rapidly. It calls for rethinking the entire organisation of the city from top to bottom, from mobility to energy production and consumption. It is the whole urban metabolism that needs to change so that the city stops being part of the problem and becomes part of the solution.
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