Barcelona – the sustainable side

I am most impressed with this city´s sustainability.  Everywhere we go I see something that I am wishing we had.  Here are just a few of the green things I have noticed….

Mass transit is a way of life here. You could easily live here without a car.  From the looks of it most locals don’t have a car.  Also the cross walks are all set back off the corners of the intersections just a bit and the crosswalks are giving their own right of way.  It is pretty interesting to see the pedestrian movement. 

Recycling prevalent on many scales.  Trash cans at the beach were even arranged in groups of three to promote sorting.

There is a free bike program for residents.  BiCiNg is the name of the program.  (BCN is the city code for Barcelona) People go up insert a card and a bike releases.  They ride it to wherever the closest station is to their destination and then they put it back in the locked rack.  I understand it is free.  This is a great benefit.  People are riding these everywhere.  They seem like decent bikes.

To go along with the biking the city has many designated and well marked bike and walk paths.  The city as a whole is extremely pedestrian friendly. 

There are so many amenities for the residents of Barcelona to enjoy.  Parks and green space is highly developed and used well.  Street cleaners are everywhere constantly sweeping and keeping the areas looking nice.

Here is a solar panel to runs the lights on this buoy.

In our hotel room (at the hotel AB Skipper) the sustainable features really catch my attention.  Just inside the door a second card reader requires you to put your key in, in order to operate the lights.  So when you leave you take your key and your lights go off.  Leaving no unnecessary light wasting electricity.  When you return and insert your key all the lights come on.  This also makes it really hard to lose your key in your room.

The toilet has a water saving dual flush feature along with a cool design integrated with the shower.

While this is not one of my favorite features I assume it is a huge energy saver for the hotel.  The thermostat is set at 19 C and can´t be changed up or down.  It is mostly comfortable and we have only needed to open the window once the first night to cool the place down more than we were allowed by the thermostat.

Also as an addition to this post….as we were leaving I noticed a solar grid on the roof.  there was more sustainably to our hotel than met the eye.  Sustainable efforts seem to be more main stream in Spain than a feather in the cap, as they are in the USA.

I also recently read an article about how Barcelona/Spain would be planting a significant number of trees in the years to come.   It is an ambitious initiative.  ~K

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4 thoughts on “Barcelona – the sustainable side

  1. Kim this is very interesting information! I love picking a a bike and returning it to the next station, how simple. I also need to tell you that the architecture is awesome, I had no idea!

  2. Thanks Nell – It was quite an adventure. Their everyday sustainbility is integrated into the average Barcelonian’s life so seamlessly that it just isn’t a big deal to them. We have much to learn and do. ~K

  3. Kim, Thanks for the email and great blog! I was lucky enough to spend a semester studying architecture in nearby Genova, Italy, and was able to spend a few days in Barcelona checking out all of Guadi’s crazy buildings and parks… Good stuff!

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