Barcelona and its residents, relating to one another in many, diverse uses and activities, have their own dynamism but are also responsible for their contributions to various types of environment impacts.
The population's growing awareness of the impact of pollution on their health in big cities such as Barcelona has made keeping the players involved (citizens, companies etc.,) up to date and informed one of the chief goals of municipal authority.
This diagnosis enables, in the first place, framework knowledge on the state of the territory to be provided, so we can have sufficient tools afterwards for preventing, prioritising and acting with the aim of maintaining and improving the city’s environmental conditions as key factors to a good quality of life.
The Strategic Noise Map (MES) and air-quality maps are tools that provide a set of detailed information on the environmental quality the city is subject to. It is therefore possible for us to find out pollution levels in any part of the city (in our home street, in a specific park etc.,) by selecting the pollutant agent considered in each case.
The air-quality maps have been created jointly by Barcelona City Council and the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB). They enable residents to find out and assess the overall presence of the atmospheric pollutants that have the most impact on Barcelona and thereby discover the extent of pollution in any given area in the city, so effective planning tools can be established for protecting the health of the city’s residents.
Available in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the last year of reference.
According to type of pollutant:
Average annual immissionNO2 [µg/m3]
Average annual immissionPM10 [µg/m3]
Average annual immissionPM2,5 [µg/m3]
With the following methods for displaying the atmospheric pollutant data:
Immission levels of atmospheric contamination in annual average and street section.
The Strategic Noise Map (SNM) is a set of maps that are used to assess the global exposure of the population to noise produced by different sources of noise in a given area. In addition, they are the basis for the development of action plans. They are developed every 5 years and are used as a management tool for the improvement and recovery of acoustic quality where necessary and to protect good acoustic quality in quiet environments.
The SNM consists of:
- Noise map. It shows the noise in the city, coming from different sources and at different time periods. It can be represented in different ways.
- Acoustic zoning map. It classifies the city in areas of different acoustic sensitivity, determining the maximum noise limits allowed by law.
- Population exposure statistics. It determines the percentages of the population who is exposed to the different noise ranges, according to the typology of the source and the time period.
SNM available for 2009, 2012 and 2017, the last year of reference.
It consists of a graphical representation of the sound levels of the city. It can be represented:
Noise sources required by regulations
- Road traffic
- Major road traffic
- Railway and tramway
Other types of noise sources not required by regulations have also been studied in detail:
- Leisure and crowding
- Pedestrian streets
- Inner courtyards
The city's Environmental Ordinance establishes three time periods:
- Day (Ld): 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Evening (Le): 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- Night (Ln): 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
With the following methods for displaying environmental noise data:
Acoustic levels represented by noise contour lines:
These are curves that link all the points that are at the same sound level, as in cartography the contour lines show the topography.
Acoustic levels represented by street sections
These are lines that indicate the sound levels of each section of the road produced between crossings.
Acoustic levels on building façades
It shows the sound levels of every building at façade level.
Acoustic zoning map
It determines the acoustic sensitivity for each street section, depending on the land uses and the activities that usually take place there. The most sensitive areas are those that will require more protection and, therefore, regulations will enact more restrictive limit levels. Therefore, this map determines the acoustic quality objectives that the city wants to reach.
Population exposure statistics
They determine the degree of exposure to noise of all the inhabitants of the city, based on the sources and time periods analyzed on the noise map. Data can be viewed at different levels: neighborhood, district, and city.