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Admitted to the European Life+ Program project of the University in favor of the environment

The work, in which other entities of Navarra collaborate, aims to reduce the exhibition of cyclists to the main urban pollutants.

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The University of Navarra team that participated in this project.
PHOTO: Manuel Castells
14/05/14 15:28 Laura Latorre

A project led by a team multidisciplinary of the University of Navarra has been one of the 225 chosen by the European Commission, among 1,468 candidates, to be part of the LIFE+ RESPIRA program in favor of the environment. The work, which will receive part of its funding from European funds, aims to demonstrate that it is possible to reduce the exhibition of cyclists (and pedestrians in general) to urban air pollutants by applying new technologies and other measures related to urban planning, urban design and management of the mobility.

According to Professor Jesús Miguel Santamaría, director of project, "it arose from the need to have data empirical data to inform cyclists about where and when to ride in order to reduce the impact of inhaled pollutants". For Santamaría, who advises on environmental subject at the European level, "an effective alternative to improve air quality in cities is to promote the use of bicycles as an alternative to motorized transport".

Regarding this activity, which from entrance is considered healthy, the expert emphasizes that "it can pose a risk to cyclists themselves, because they are close to the sources of pollution and their breathing fees are 2-4 times higher than those of passengers traveling by car or pedestrians, which favors a greater inhalation of pollutants". 

In addition to the University of Navarra, the consortium formed for the development of this project includes the Energy and Environmental Research Center (CIEMAT) and several entities of the Autonomous Community of Navarra, among them: management Ambiental de Navarra (GANASA); Pavimentos Tudela (PVT); design and development de Sistemas de Información (D2D); and Green Wave Technologies. Likewise, the Pamplona City Council, the Mancomunidad de la Comarca de Pamplona, the department de development Rural, Medio Ambiente y Administración Local del Gobierno de Navarra, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA), the association Medios de Transporte Saludables (AMTS), Oraintxe SL and the University of Cambridge, have also supported this initiative expressing their interest in the results derived from project.

Involvement of the population, among the priority objectives

To achieve its general goal , the project proposes a series of actions ranging from directly involving the population in development , making them the main driving force, to developing a route planner that allows pedestrians and cyclists to select the healthiest pathway from the point of view of atmospheric pollution, among others.

The project "Measures to reduce exhibition of cyclists to the main urban pollutants" will be developed over a period of three years, and has a total cost of 2,330,760 €, of which the European Union is financing 1,122,530 €.