Green gentrification in Barcelona: is it fair the disbribution of access to urban natural spaces?

Rosa M. Bosch writes this interesting article (in Spanish) in La Vanguardia on “green gentrification” in Barcelona. The sociologist and geographer Dr. Isabelle Anguelovski has analyzed how has changed the socioeconomic profile of people living near gardens and parks created in Barcelona between 1992 and 2000. The study suggests that the new areas have attracted wealthy neighbors and move away poor ones. Importantly, the article also echo the fact that Amguelovski will conduct a new cross national research, funded by EU (Starting Grant from European Research Council) with 1.5 million euros, in which the situation of 20 cities in Europe will be compared with other US 20. They will “make a ranking of environmentally fairer populations and determine their social impact and health”.

¿La distribución del acceso a los espacios naturales urbanos es justa? ¿La naturaleza beneficia a todos? En algunas zonas del Poblenou o la Barceloneta la respuesta es no. Esa es la conclusión a la que ha llegado un equipo de investigadores del Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA) de la UAB, liderado por la socióloga y geógrafa Isabelle Anguelovski, que ha analizado cómo ha variado el perfil socioeconómico de las personas que residen junto a 18 parques y jardines creados en Barcelona entre 1992 y principios de la década del 2000, en Sant Martí, Sant Andreu, Nou Barris, Ciutat Vella y Horta-Guinardó.

Vecinos de Nueva York, Boston o Portland hace años que batallan contra la “gentrificación verde”, proceso que se produce cuando la población original de un enclave de clase media o media-baja es desplazada por nuevos habitantes con mayor nivel adquisitivo que llegan atraídos por las mejoras que ha experimentado gracias a la implantación de áreas verdes. El precio del alquiler y de venta de inmuebles, ya convenientemente reformados, sube y las clases más vulnerables no tienen otra opción que marchar.

En Evaluando los impactos de la gentrificación ambiental en barrios históricamente vulnerables de Barcelona, Anguelovski utiliza seis indicadores: inquilinos con título universitario; inmigrantes no comunitarios y los procedentes de países ricos; residentes de más de 65 años solos; incremento de la renta de los habitantes, y valor de la vivienda. Hay gentrificación verde cuando confluyen tres de estos parámetros, como ha pasado en los parques del Poblenou y Nova Icària, ambos en Sant Martí, y en los jardines Príncep de Girona, en Horta. “Los cambios demográficos más importantes se han manifestado en el parque del Poblenou donde los vecinos con un mínimo de una licenciatura que viven a 100 metros de la zona verde aumentó en un 689% frente al 139% del conjunto de Sant Martí. También en los parques de las Cascades, Port Olímpic, Nova Icària y Carles I hubo un incremento, del 473%, frente al citado 139% de Sant Martí y el 127% de Ciutat Vella, de 1991 al 2001”, dice Anguelovski. Asimismo, los ingresos de las familias más cercanas al parque del Poblenou subieron en cinco años un 20,53% frente al 2,8% de media del conjunto de Sant Martí, y los extranjeros llegados de países del norte crecieron un 3.791 % en comparación al 228% de todo el distrito.

Sant Martí, y en concreto el Poblenou, es la zona de Barcelona donde se aprecia más este fenómeno. “El reverdecimiento de este ámbito del litoral ha ido acompañado de promociones inmobiliarias. Mientras que en barriadas estigmatizadas de Nou Barris o de Sant Andreu no ha habido gentrificación, sino todo lo contrario, sospechamos que han sido las que han recibido a los ciudadanos pobres expulsados de sus barrios”. Teniendo en cuenta que vivir cerca de una zona verde mejora la salud, tal como ha demostrado el Centre de Recerca en Epidemiologia Ambiental (Creal) de Barcelona en varios estudios, el ICTA pone estos datos al servicio de las administraciones para promover justicia ambiental.

Y para profundizar en este nuevo campo, Anguelovski coordinará desde Barcelona un extenso trabajo, financiado por la UE (Starting Grant del European Research Council) con 1,5 millones de euros, en el que se comparará la situación de 20 ciudades de Europa y otras 20 de EE.UU. “Haremos un ranking de las poblaciones ambientalmente más justas y determinaremos su impacto social y en la salud”, concluye Anguelovski .

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Health and happiness: cross-sectional household surveys in Finland, Poland and Spain

Abstract

Objective

To explore the associations between health and how people evaluate and experience their lives.

Methods

We analysed data from nationally-representative household surveys originally conducted in 2011–2012 in Finland, Poland and Spain. These surveys provided information on 10 800 adults, for whom experienced well-being was measured using the Day Reconstruction Method and evaluative well-being was measured with the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. Health status was assessed by questions in eight domains including mobility and self-care. We used multiple linear regression, structural equation models and multiple indicators/multiple causes models to explore factors associated with experienced and evaluative well-being.

Findings

The multiple indicator/multiple causes model conducted over the pooled sample showed that respondents with younger age (effect size, β = 0.19), with higher levels of education (β = −0.12), a history of depression (β = −0.17), poor health status (β = 0.29) or poor cognitive functioning (β = 0.09) reported worse experienced well-being. Additional factors associated with worse evaluative well-being were male sex (β = −0.03), not living with a partner (β = 0.07), and lower occupational (β = −0.07) or income levels (β = 0.08). Health status was the factor most strongly correlated with both experienced and evaluative well-being, even after controlling for a history of depression, age, income and other sociodemographic variables.

Conclusion

Health status is an important correlate of well-being. Therefore, strategies to improve population health would also improve people’s well-being.

Miret, M., Caballero, F. F., Chatterji, S., Olaya, B., Tobiasz-Adamczyk, B., Koskinen, S., … & Ayuso-Mateos, J. L. (2014). Health and happiness: cross-sectional household surveys in Finland, Poland and Spain. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92(10), 716-725.

Public Data Google, another useful secondary data source for cross-national comparisons

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I have recently posted several interesting sources of secondary data for cross-national research. Each one with one or another strength. For instance, I found Trading Economics very useful to compare nations all over the world and by mean innumerable economic indicators. Another source, the Eurostat´s Regional Statistics Illustrate, although the data are limited to Europe, it stands for the possibility to represent data into more diverse formats, such as maps, distribution plot or scatter plot, among others. It also counts with information disaggregated by European regions.

In this post I want to present another source that, having some of the above utilities,  I find more appropriate to compare specific countries. It is Google Public Data. The available indicators are also broad and from different sources, such as World Bank, World Economic Forum or Eurostat. But the advantage I see here is that Google facilitates the labor to compare not all countries together but just the ones interesting for one´s research. For instance, when one just wants to compare the evolution of abortions in such countries as Spain, Portugal and Poland, like in the above chart. It also owns a variety of forms to represent data at the top-right corner. The information can´t be represented by regions, though.

European regional Statistics Illustrated

Today I stumbled across this sophisticate Eurostat tool that allow map social and economic data by European regions. It is similar to the one I commented in an earlier post, also from Eurostat. But what I like most here is the possibility to visualize data in a variety of charts such as distribution plot, scatter plot, bar chart or data table. Well, I also love the animated maps that show the data evolution. They are superb, aren´t they? Visit here the site

Outstanding website with 300.000 economic indicators for 196 countries

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I found something very interesting when looking for secondary dat on Poland GDP growth rate. It is an outstanding tool to compare economic indicators by countries. They offer, among other things, the exportation of data into excel as well as represent it in maps.

Further details here

Statistical Atlas – Eurostat regional yearbook 2013

Commodious, utilitarian and valid tool for secondary data based and European cross-national research. Relevant information on economy and finance; population and social conditions; industry, trade and services; agriculture and fisheries; transport; science and technology; among others.

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Source: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistical-atlas/gis/viewer/