Barcelona is a Mediterranean city characterized by its compactness and diversity and by its high concentration of activities and people. Noise pollution and air quality are two environmental problems currently affecting the city which resulted, in part, of an urban design that promotes the use of motorized vehicles. One of the solutions proposed by the municipality to reverse this situation is the Superblocks program, which is a new model of mobility that restructures the typical urban road network, limiting the presence of private vehicles in order to return the public space to the citizen. This allows to reduce environmental impacts (air pollution and noise) and increase the diversification of citizens’ usage of public spaces. It should increase the quality of life of residents and visitors, enhancing social cohesion and increasing economic activity.

Taking advantage of the implementation of the superblocks in Barcelona we will carry out the PULSE deployment in areas where superblocks are being implemented such as Sant Antoni and Horta neighborhoods. We have been deploying a proof-of-concept of PULSE technologies for the assessment of environmental and health effects of a public health policy such as superblocks.

In order to be able to deploy PULSE technologies, we have recruited PulsAir app users intensively in the neighbourhoods of Sant Antoni and Horta, although there are participants from other neighbourhoods of the city as well. In addition, seven noise and air quality sensors have been installed in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood to assess air quality in superblock’s core and peripheral areas. Finally, a large amount of socioeconomic, environmental and health data have been selected and gathered to provide information to PULSE system.

Barcelona’s Air Quality data