Policy & Global Development, Urban Planning, Environment and Health

BiblioLab Ciencia Kicks Off to Foster Scientific Knowledge on Urban Health

The co-creation project offers 20 workshops to young students from Barcelona, Martorell and Sant Vicenç dels Horts


Knowing how the urban environment affects people's health is key to designing healthier cities. BiblioLab Ciencia – Healthy City has been launched with the aim of increasing citizens’ knowledge on the processes of collecting scientific evidence and urban and transport planning. It is a co-creation project led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, an institution supported by "la Caixa", and the following libraries: Sagrada Familia (Barcelona), Martorell (Martorell) and Les Voltes (Sant Vicenç dels Horts). The project is funded by the Diputació de Barcelona and co-funded by the Barcelona Libraries Network.

“We want to bring research closer to the citizens so that they can get involved in generating new knowledge on urban health, regarding data collection and methodologies in biomedicine and environmental epidemiology", explains Raül Toran, Outreach Coordinator at ISGlobal and one of the project co-organisers.

To achieve this, around twenty workshops have been scheduled in the three libraries between January and June. They are especially addressed to students of third and fourth course of ESO and students of the first course of BATXILLERAT although, as Toran pointed out, "they can be adapted to other ages since, in fact, diversity enriches the co-creation processes."

On the one hand, ISGlobal researcher Xavier Basagaña will coordinate a series of citizen science workshops on health, air pollution, and mobility, targeting schools and institutes. Participants will learn about citizen science through a practical approach: working in team under professional supervision, and using low resolution sensors for measuring air pollution, they will learn how to come up with a hypothesis, select a methodology, obtain environmental data (nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter contamination, light, noise, pressure, humidity and temperature) and present the final results.

On the other hand, Miquel Baidal will coordinate artistic workshops based on brainstorming techniques, illustration and collage to explore new city and transport models.

In addition, the libraries will host in March other citizen participation activities, such as the COCREA workshop by NUSOS cooperative and a citizen science workshop by the Genomic Regulation Centre.

The project will end on June 12, in the library Sagrada Familia, with an exhibition of the artworks and the presentation of twelve co-creation works selected by the participants. Thereafter, people will be able to consult the different works in the library, and borrow sensor kits to perform air pollution, noise or temperature measurements (Citizen Sensing Toolkit).

We want BiblioLab to become a permanent space in the Sagrada Familia library where this material will be available for students and the general population so that they, get involved in science, and generate new knowledge,” explains Xavier Basagaña.


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