Barcelona City Council has given new impulse to the fight against air pollution with the Government Measure Programme of anti-air pollution measures, (November 2016), including structural measures to ensure average NO2 and PM10 levels are reduced, and extraordinary measures to deal with occasional episodes and move towards a healthier city.
Barcelona City Council, in collaboration with the metropolitan area's other local authorities, local associations and businesses, is leading the fight against air pollution, through a variety of initiatives:
Reduction of journeys in private vehicles
The aim is to reduce the number of journeys in private vehicles in the metropolitan area by 21% compared to the values for 2013. This is the main source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution, particulary as a result of older diesel engines.
Aid the dispersal of airborne particles
Washing streets and squares and reducing activities that produce dust can reduce airborne particles (PM10), a pollutant which poses a health hazard.
Promotion of more sustainable public transport
Barcelona Council is investing in improvements to the public transport network (bus and metro), connecting the tram lines and extending the cycle lane network, as well as making the fleet of municipal vehicles environmentally friendly.
Sustainable and healthy urban model
Efforts are under way to promote a sustainable urban environment, with local services and amenities, which put pedestrians first, and with green areas that contribute to a healthy city.
Commitment to cycling
The Council is extending the cycle lane network, improving its signposting and creating new bicycle parking facilities across the city.
Favour vehicles that cause less pollution
The creation of new charging points is being encouraged all over the city for electric vehicles, and the Bicing service is being supplemented with e-bike stations.
Implementing the new low emission zone encompassing the ring roads
In conjunction with the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB), an environmental protection area is being defined, restricting the use of more pollutant vehicles in order to guarantee air quality for the city’s inhabitants .
Creation of ZUAP low-emissions zones
Areas where air quality is more critical are to be established, where tighter restrictions will be put in place to cut pollution and help speed up reaction times during pollution episodes. Some of these zones will be close to sensitive areas such as schools and hospitals.