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IEB researchers study ways in which cities can reduce their environmental impact

This year, a project led by IEB researcher Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López has been awarded one of the ‘la Caixa’ Foundation’s 15 scholarships for social research, from among 528 entries.

The project is entitled “Building and shaping cities for a healthy and prosperous future” and the research team is completed by fellow IEB members Albert Solé-Ollé and Elisabet Viladecans Marsal, together with Professor Daniel Arribas Bel from the University of Liverpool and Professor Diego Puga Pequeño from the Center for Monetary and Financial Studies (CEMFI). The project will receive 100,000 euros in funding.

The research is based on the empirical evidence that air pollution in cities kills millions of people each year. This pollution is a consequence of the way cities are planned and built, and of where and how people live, work, and move around in them. Based on this premise, the researchers aim to study and understand how the planning and the layout of cities can affect air pollution. The idea is, for example, to determine what types of city pollute the least, and to identify how air pollution has evolved in Spanish cities over the last 50 years.

With this and the rest of the selected projects, the ‘la Caixa’ Foundation promotes research projects able to generate new knowledge that helps to understand key social challenges based on quantitative methodologies. The call seeks “social research projects which stand out for their excellence and are based on quantitative data, and which apply original and innovative approaches to the task of understanding the challenges facing today’s societies.”