The Declaration of Barcelona Calls for the Improvement of Air Quality in Large Cities

European symposium organised by ISGlobal, CREAL and the Catalan Government promotes actions aimed at improving health by addressing the problem of air pollution


The European Symposium on Air Quality, Noise and Health Effects in Urban Agglomerations took place in Barcelona on 5 June—World Environment Day. The event was organised by the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability of the Generalitat de Catalunya together with ISGlobal and its allied research centre CREAL. In his opening speech, the Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Santi Vila, stressed the need to bring together the worlds of business, academia and government, saying "We have to make sure that there are meeting places like this one".   The signatories of a joint statement presented at the symposium, the Declaration of Barcelona, called on all the stakeholders—citizens, social collectives, the business community, and local and central government—to prioritise the problem of air pollution within their respective areas of competence and to promote interventions aimed at reducing such pollution. The aim of the Declaration is "to promote and formulate plans for the improvement of air quality in order to achieve air pollution levels below the established legal limits".   

The symposium also welcomed the participation of representatives of some of the foremost European cities, including London, Paris, Berlin, Milan and Florence, all of which are dealing with air quality and noise pollution problems similar to those faced by the Barcelona metropolitan area.   

Since 2013, ISGlobal has been developing an alliance with CREAL in order to consolidate a world class research and knowledge translation centre in global health with the necessary critical mass to be an international leader in the fight against the major problems affecting global health, including infectious diseases and chronic non-communicable diseases, with a strong focus on their environmental determinants.