Odour Pollution in the Forum Area of Barcelona, Spain

Summary of pilot

The Barcelona Pilot is the pioneer pilot of the D-NOSES project. It is located at the Forum Area, in the southeast end of the city, by the sea. This urban area has been historically affected by odour issues, where more disadvantaged neighborhoods cohabitate with newly renewed areas. Odour pollution is one of the citizen’s concerns due to the high concentration of industrial activities - mainly waste and wastewater treatment plants.

The situation

The area is complex in terms of the variety of odour emitting sources causing the odour issues: a bio-methanisation integral waste treatment plant, a waste incineration plant, and a pneumatic collection station; a covered WasteWater Treatment Plant; and a wastewater sludge treatment plant. Different odours can be recognized and distinguished (waste, water sewage, sludge, biogas, etc.). The affected communities come from a variety of socio-cultural and socio-economic realities. Nevertheless, there are well organized groups and civic associations tackling air and odour pollution issues affecting them directly.

D-NOSES role and aims

The complexity in terms of the variety of odour sources and social realities makes this pilot a great pioneer. Citizens are being trained in identifying different odours to map them in OdourCollect and correlate this information with industrial operations searching for improvements. Engagement and participatory strategies are tailor-made to be adequate for the variety of social realities and meet the inclusive approach of the D-NOSES methodology. To have the Regional & Environmental Authorities on board as also managers of most of the odour emitting sources permits to involve the quadruple helix model.

Progress so far

We have conducted a two-phase strategy: 1) Beta pilot, a small pilot that involves a limited number of participants to test the engagement methods, training materials and the mobile app developed for the project. The final goal was to identify areas of improvement and to apply corrective measures before scaling up to larger groups of people. The most motivated participants were involved in the Beta pilot as “community champions”. 2) The large pilot: scale-up participation to reach more participants. More than 563 odour observations have been reported in the OdourCollect App over a period of 12 months and more than 50 neighbours have participated in this endeavour. The first analysis of the data gathered has been undertaken - providing interesting conclusions that are coherent with traditional odour studies within the area. The analysis including retrotrajectories and meteorological data is under process to achieve a more complete data analysis. The preliminary results of the Barcelona Pilot have been presented to the citizens who participated in the project as well as the release of the D-NOSES Barcelona Pilot Video that shows the odour problems in the area and the citizens participation within the pilot.

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