Urban air quality

Today urban air quality issue exists in every big city around the world. Barcelona is not an exception. Poor air quality one of the main aspects that influences citizen health and leads to some respiratory and heart diseases. The most vulnerable groups are sensible people like seniors, children and those who has chronicle illness. European environment agency states that thousands of premature deaths every year in European Union is attributable to high NO2 concentration.  In order to successfully tackle that problem, the first thing we have to do is to reveal the sources of air contamination. That project aims to explore the main source of pollution and how it influences air quality.

Source of the problem

The main source of nitrogen dioxide are vehicles. Especially old ones that run on diesel fuel. Many city councils try to close the city centers for that type of vehicles. Barcelona also moves in that direction however it is not enough. The geographically central part of the city – Eixample district is exposed to more that 100 000 private vehicle trips every day. Consequently, it becomes one of the most polluted part of the city. To justify the fact that vehicles are mostly responsible for high nitrogen dioxide concentration the most contaminated area was explored. There is 20 blocks in Eixample between Provenca, Urgell, Consell de Cent and Enric Grandas streets. To help us build the evidence we will use Lobelia.earth dataset of NO2 concentration for the whole year. Data for vehicle flow comes from open data bcn. Average value for 3 days (weekday, Saturday, Sunday) is calculated and associated with corresponding air quality map.


So, there is no doubts that more vehicle on the street provokes higher NO2 concentration. As far as we are concerned, that our everyday decision of mode of transportation influence our health our goal as designers is to develop tools to convey that knowledge to wider public and provoke behavioral changes.






AW|AIR is a project of IAAC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
developed at  Master in City and Technology,
in 2021 by:
Students: Linara Salikhova
Faculty: Iacopo Neri, Eugenio Bettucchi