Exploring Air Quality and Diverse Cultures: The Youth Design Assembly in Barcelona
Alina, a youth design assembly participant – 11th of October 2023
The YA 3 group held their in-person meeting in Barcelona at the beginning of September. The meeting spanned an entire weekend. Throughout the weekend, we had the opportunity to get to know each other better, enjoy some delicious food, and acquire valuable insights into zero pollution as a green competence.
On Saturday, we dedicated our time to installing air quality measurement tubes at various locations across Barcelona. It was a fascinating experience to explore the city, test the GreenSCENT applications, and contemplate the factors influencing air quality. Saturday stood out as my favorite part of the trip because we had the chance to explore so much of Barcelona. My legs were quite sore by the evening, but the experience was undoubtedly worthwhile! I’m looking forward to hearing the results of the air quality measurements in our next Zoom meeting.
The weekend broadened my perspective on the various forms of pollution found in cities. We engaged in intriguing discussions about cars in the cities. There are significant cultural differences in how cars are used and where they are permitted to operate. Barcelona boasts numerous pedestrian streets, which enhance the urban environment. I can only imagine how crowded and noisy the streets would be if cars were still allowed. Additionally, I wonder if there is now increased traffic elsewhere since some streets are exclusively designated for pedestrians. I have doubts that cars have completely disappeared from cities. At least in Finland when the cars were not allowed to drive on some streets, the traffic just moved elsewhere and got sometimes even worse.
All in all, I believe that the most rewarding aspect of the trip was collaborating with such a multicultural group. It was a highly enriching experience, and there were plenty of opportunities for interesting discussions with everyone. I cherished every moment and feel that I learned not only about Zero Pollution, the theme of the meeting, but also about different cultures and myself. The entire experience has proven to be exceptionally valuable!