The direct relationship between air pollution and people’s health, especially in urban agglomerations, has emerged in recent years as one of the greatest points of debate and public interest.
As stated in the political agreement for the improvement of air quality in the conurbation of Barcelona signed in 2017 by local institutions, around the world these urban agglomerations, where most of the population is concentrated, present problems of pollution derived from the high levels of nitrogen oxides and suspended particles.
Barcelona will have to reduce environmental pollution by 10% over the next five years
Barcelona is no exception, although it is not among the cities with the most unfavourable situation. The analyses carried out over time show that, in our case, urban pollution is due to structural causes and, therefore, the solutions should also be structural until gradually reaching the levels recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The objective which has been set for the whole territory called Area-40 (the 40 municipalities around Barcelona in which air quality problems have been persistently registered over time) is to reduce the emissions of pollutants associated with road traffic by at least 10% in the next five years, and to go on to achieve an overall reduction of 30% within 15 years.
The partnership between LIVE and EV Energy aims to foster sustainable mobility in Catalonia
The platform promotes sustainable mobility projects in Barcelona, its metropolitan area and the whole of Catalonia, acting as a link between different public initiatives, as well as a meeting point to share experiences and needs between the public and private sectors, taking on the key role that the private sector must play in promoting the Green Economy, both in terms of employment and new business models.
Hence, LIVE is made up of public and private organisations such as Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Activa, Barcelona Municipal Services, Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, Metropolitan Transport of Barcelona, the Catalan Government, Etra, Naturgy, Nissan, Renault, Seat and Volkswagen.
LIVE, which also aspires to become an international reference, has shown that European cities are advancing at an accelerated pace in the field of renewable energy and urban electric mobility. There is an ever-growing body of innovative and intelligent approaches that may contribute significantly to the reduction of emissions and increase the energy efficiency of urban transport.
For this reason, the LIVE platform highlights the importance of initiatives such as the EV Energy project, which facilitates the analysis and exchange, among various European urban areas, of innovative policies for the promotion of renewable energy, electric mobility and the use of ICT for greater integration of both dimensions.
The measures and policies analysed include taxes on energy and mobility, problems with parking and loading, energy regulations and network connection costs. In fact, given that cities are the main consumers of energy, they offer many opportunities for improvement, especially from the growing link between two powerful technological solutions: electric vehicles and renewable energy.
In the EV Energy project, co-financed by the European Union, the best practices of each participating region are shared and presented with the aim of inspiring one another and, in the best-case scenario, transferring such good practices from one place to another. The idea is to contribute to generating changes and improvements in local policies of electric mobility.
“The LIVE platform has been included as an example of good practice in Catalonia”
For instance, the LIVE platform has been included as an example of good practice in Catalonia in the repository available on the website of the EV Energy project. In addition, it has been valued positively by a team of experts from the Interreg Europe programme and published on the Policy Learning Platform, an online community where lessons learned from good practices of regional policies throughout Europe in various fields are collected, under the heading of low-carbon economy and electric mobility.
The LIVE platform has shared its experience, its concept and its way of working with the EV Energy project partners and the community of European policy makers, with the prospect that the idea may be replicated in other regions of Europe and beyond, thus encouraging the shift towards more sustainable mobility in European cities.
Furthermore, LIVE has been able to learn from the experiences of other European regions through its active participation in events organised by the EV Energy project in Stockholm (spring of 2018) and in Barcelona (autumn of 2018), attended by representatives from Amsterdam, Stockholm, Flevoland, Kaunas and Rome.
Additionally, LIVE forms part of a local support group for the EV Energy project, made up of the main players and stakeholders in the sector of sustainable mobility and renewable energy in Catalonia. This group meets once every six months to exchange ideas and analyse possible innovations in sectoral public policies within Catalonia.
In conclusion, the joining of forces between the LIVE platform and the EV Energy project in pursuit of more sustainable mobility forms a powerful collaboration tool that aims to play its part, from Barcelona, in the shared objective of paving the way for the progressive decarbonisation of the energy and mobility sectors.