In the midst of great uncertainty and ecological threat, much of the world has decided that humankind is in need of a change. Just recently, The United Nations has set a deadline for when all countries belonging to the organization must minimize their production and consumption of fossil fuels. Governments, cities, and people around the world are looking for innovative ways in which this goal set by the UN can be met. Barcelona (thankfully) is among those places that are trying to better themselves and the environment around them.
As a city, Barcelona has focused itself on improving its means of transportation and becoming less reliant on fossil fuels like petrol for getting around. One major example of this comes in the forms of the“Superilles”or Super Blocks designed by la Agencia d’Ecologia Urbana de Barcelona. Superilles are 9 block regions of Barcelona that are meant to cut off all vehicular trafficapart from inhabitants of the given neighborhoods.
The purpose is to shift the focus of public spaces from cars to pedestrian traffic, making travel on foot and by bike both more comfortable and more prioritized. Despite initial hostility from certain neighborhoods, according to a article from City Lab Superilles appear to be achieving what they’ve set out to do. Since the first Superille in Gracia was constructed in 2007, it’s been reported that walking in the neighborhood hasincreased 10%, bicycling has increased 30%and car driving has decreased by 26%. Inconvenience or not, this one Superille alone has produced positive numbers in lowering pollution within the city.
Another major way that Barcelona has, somewhat subconsciously, increased its sustainable efforts, is the recent surge (absolute craze) of electric motorbike rental companies. In the past six the amount of scooter sharing companies have increased 38% globally. And the people in Barcelona are no exception to this rule.
“Barcelonaians” too are beginning to see the use and ease of electric motorcycle rental, and good for them because it’s actually lowering their carbon footprint quite drastically. On average, a person will be able to travel throughout the entire day on one charge. Compared to the exhaust ofpetrol basedautomobiles, the production of carbon dioxide— one of the leading pollutants in Barcelona — from an electric scooter is negligible at best.
We have a difficult task ahead of us as a society, but it’s innovations like these (given people are willing to participate in them) that will bring us that much closer working alongside the planet we’ve thus far tried to ignore.