Barcelona City

TAPAS travel survey:

A growing body of literature suggests likely positive impacts of travel policies and built environment strategies to increase walking and cycling. We are undertaking a travel behaviour survey in Barcelona, Spain, which includes questions on physical activity, mode choice, and perception of the environment. The study investigates factors related to commute mode choice in Barcelona, with a focus on barriers and motivators of cycling. It includes an analysis of perceived and objective measures of the environment on mode choice, a study of effects of the BICING bike sharing program on bike commuting in Barcelona, and an assessment of the contribution of active commuting to overall physical activity.

We conducted a pilot and validation study of the travel questionnaire (November 2010-February 2012) which included collecting objective measures of geographic location and physical activity levels associated with respondents’ activities. We recruited 36 volunteers who were administered the travel survey and were monitored during 5 days with cell-phone based technology that incorporates global positioning systems (GPS) and accelerometers to measure physical activity. One aim of the study was to pilot-test the cell-phone based technology, called CalFit, developed by engineers and environmental health scientists at the University of California, Berkeley also partners in this project.

We will start recruitment for the main travel survey in June 2011, aiming at interviewing 400 cyclists and 400 non-cyclists.

Main collaborators on this project are:

From CREAL: Audrey de Nazelle, Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, Michelle Mendez

From the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Daniel Rodriguez

From University of California, Berkeley: Michael Jerrett , Edmund Seto

TAPAS experimental:

To investigate potential detrimental health effects of exposures to air pollution specifically related to active travel, we are conducting an experimental study of acute effects of exposures during transportation in Barcelona. We assess physiologic responses to active and passive travel in a highly contaminated and moderately contaminated site in the city. The cross-over design cycles 30 volunteers through 4 periods of exposure-activity combinations of low- or high-level exposures and of cycling- or at-rest activity. Air pollution (PM10, PM2.5, ultrafine particles, NOx, carbon monoxide, black carbon) and noise are measured continuously during the 2-hour exposure period, and volunteers are monitored before and after the exposure session in a clinical unit for acute health markers, including pulmonary effects (e.g. eNO, FEV1), cardiovascular effects (e.g. blood pressure, HRV), inflammation and oxidative stress (e.g. CRP, cytokynes), and possibly gene expression and genotoxicity (blood samples will be stored). The field work begun in February and will go on till Fall 2011.

Traffic site is placed at the entrance of a tunnel:

Control site is placed on a quiet square at Barceloneta quarter: