Pasando a la acción: la ciudadanía se moviliza con BiblioLab para pensar ciudades más saludables

Taking Action: Citizens Mobilise With BiblioLab to Think About Healthier Cities

10.3.2021
Bibliolab
Photo: Model with green and sustainable city ideas by the Màrius Torres school (L'Hospitalet de Llobregat) BiblioLab participants.

The social and health crisis brought about by SARS-CoV-2 has prompted an urgent re-examination of the cities we inhabit and of how the configuration and use of urban spaces affect people’s health. People need healthier and more humane cities that acknowledge the existence of problems such as high levels of fine-particle and gas pollution and the lack of urban green space.

BiblioLab Science – Healthy City was created as a venue for discussing all of these issues. The project empowers the population through cooperative knowledge acquisition and creation oriented towards developing proposals for healthier cities. This process, led by ISGlobal’s Scientific Culture Unit, was supported by municipal libraries—centres dedicated to the creation of knowledge—and organised across the region in collaboration with the ”la Caixa” Social Work programme (Intercultural Community Intervention project), the Network of Municipal Libraries of Barcelona Province and the Barcelona Provincial Council.

Through citizen science and co-creation workshops organised in two-week cycles, participants identified specific local problems pertaining to pollution, city planning and health

In total, BiblioLab Science – Healthy City had nearly 280 participants, including students from primary and secondary schools, members of various social groups, neighbourhood associations, parents’ associations, sustainable mobility groups and other members of the community who were interested in the topics of pollution, city planning and health. Ranging in age from 10 to 70 years, the participants were residents of Barcelona, Cardona, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Vic.

 

Detail of the model of the participants of the Màrius Torres school (L'Hospitalet de Llobregat).

 

Through citizen science and co-creation workshops organised in two-week cycles, participants identified specific local problems pertaining to pollution, city planning and health. Real data were collected using sensors and, following a critical analysis of the results, proposals for healthier cities were co-created. The resulting proposals covered a wide range of topics, reflecting the diversity of the region and the social milieu of the participants.

In Cardona, students focused on measuring fine-particle and noise pollution on the town’s busiest streets. The groups decided to develop awareness-raising campaigns on social media in order to share the data they collected with different audiences

In Cardona, students focused on measuring fine-particle and noise pollution on the town’s busiest streets. The groups decided to develop awareness-raising campaigns on social media in order to share the data they collected with different audiences. In L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, the main concern of the parents’ associations and students from the Collblanc–La Torrasa neighbourhood was pollution levels at schools. Data on fine-particle pollution were collected inside and outside the schools in order to ascertain the quality of the air and be able to make a well-founded call for a healthier school environment.

 

Graphic made by BiblioLab participants.

 

In Barcelona, Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Vic, students from various high schools chose to study pollution and noise levels in their school classrooms and in the wider neighbourhood. Since their aim was to reach a younger audience, they shared their results on social media via Instagram, TikTok and WhatsApp. Finally, representatives of neighbourhood groups and platforms in Sant Boi de Llobregat analysed air quality in the busiest areas of the city and around schools. The conclusions of this analysis prompted the participants to debate various possible priority actions that would require greater political and institutional attention, including traffic-calming measures near schools and efforts to promote the use of public transport.

The BiblioLab Science – Healthy City project has enabled community members to learn about the evidence regarding the public-health impact of pollution. By leveraging this knowledge and applying the scientific method, they were able to collect data in the field and generate evidence, which they transformed into proposals for action and change

In short, the BiblioLab Science – Healthy City project has enabled community members to learn about the evidence regarding the public-health impact of pollution. By leveraging this knowledge and applying the scientific method, they were able to collect data in the field and generate evidence, which they transformed into proposals for action and change.

Results from the various municipalities involved in the project are posted on the BiblioLab blog: bibliolabciencia.blogspot.com