Environment Field Note
Title: The Environmental System of Barcelona
Abstract: Barcelona is a complex system of narrow streets and tall buildings. The city is built between two river deltas and mountain range and a sea. The city was founded by the Romans around 212 BC and used as an ideal seaport.
Introduction – How are people connected to the environment? Barcelona is located central to the trading routes of the Mediterranean region. The people are connected to Europe on all sides. Western Spain brings olive oil from the groves of Andalusia. A majority of Spain’s produce is brought up from northern Africa. To the north across the Pyrenees mountains is France and northern Europe. To the east is the Mediterranean Sea, which connects Barcelona to the abundance of European seaports.
What makes this environment special or different? As I mentioned Barcelona is built on a coastal plain. It seems to crawl out of the Mediterranean Sea up to the Collserola Ridge. Barcelona is built on a slope. It originating as a Roman seaport, and those ruins are closer to the Sea. Although as I’ve been told, the longer you live in Barcelona, the further up the slope towards the ridge you migrate. I believe that makes Barcelona different. On one side you have the foothills and on the other side there is the sea. There is always a breeze blowing through Barcelona, so there is very little standing air pollution and the city is very clean.
What parts of this environment help people to live here? Located on the Mediterranean Sea the summers in Barcelona can be sweltering, while the winters are mild. The sea makes for a great place for the people of Barcelona to cool off. Barcelona is also located between two rivers where they get their fresh drinking water, as well as energy from the hydraulic power plants. Barcelona is also increasing its investment on wind power coming from the surrounding areas.
What challenges do people face living in this environment? Being bordered by these two rivers, the sea, and the Collserola ridge, Barcelona doesn’t have much space to expand, or grow food. Barcelona relies on importing most of its food. Although ideally positioned to receive its imports, the reliance on transportation for the importing might cause challenges in the future, as the price of fuel can increase. That could make foods suddenly much more expensive.
How have people been adapting to this environment? As I have seen in Portland, Oregon, there is a movement in Barcelona to grow and harvest more vegetables and fruits locally. When I first imagined the food in Barcelona, I thought that people in Europe eat seasonally according to what grows in their area. What I found is quite the opposite. Barcelona relies heavily on imported and heavily processed foods. As far as food is concerned, there is progress being made with more local harvesting. As far as the temperature, the people of Barcelona take advantage of the Mediterranean Sea to cool off in hot seasons and enjoy the warming winds from northern Africa in the winter.