60% OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES USE APPS TO MAKE EVERYDAY LIFE EASIER

People with visual impairment are the ones who use them the most (77%), followed by those with hearing impairment (73%), physical (65%) and intellectual (50%), according to the report ‘Technology and Disability’ Of Fundación Adecco and Keysight Technologies Spain.

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This past July 15 was the International Day of Appropriate Technologies, ie those whose purpose is to help solve problems, paying special attention to ethical, cultural, social and economic criteria of the community they serve.
In this context, and for the sixth consecutive year, the Adecco Foundation and Keysight Technologies Spain present the report Technology and Disability, with the aim of analyzing the impact that new technologies (NT) are having on quality of life and full inclusion Of people with disabilities.

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Some apps that provide more specific services have become authentic allies for people with disabilities, allowing them to normalize many aspects of their lives.
The report, which bases its findings on a survey of 300 people with different disabilities, found that 60% of these people are users of specific apps, the ones most used by those with visual impairment (77%), followed by (73%), physical (65%) and intellectual (50%).

CE @Compromiso_Empr13 Julio 2017

STRATEGIC PLAN OF COLLSEROLA: REFLECTIONS FROM ECOLOGY

Collserola Park is a jewel that many cities would like. A few kilometers from more than three million people, eight thousand five hundred hectares of forests and other natural or semi-natural systems enjoy protection under the figure of the park’s special plan. The continuity and improvement of the ecological, economic and social functions of Collserola must be objectives that can not be waived for the citizens, park managers and politicians of the many administrations involved.

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1. Collserola has the vocation of a natural park.
2. A natural park is a very different entity from an urban park. The main difference lies in the fact that, in natural parks, human intervention is much lower, and the role of natural processes much greater than in an urban park.
3. Natural spaces, including natural parks, must be large in order to be able to generate the ecological goods and services that they provide for free.
4. The persistence and ecological integrity of a natural space are facilitated when space is bigger, and they are increasingly engaged when the surface of the park is reduced and when more are the anthropogenic pressures on the outer and inner borders (If they exist) of the space.
5. Given its location in the Barcelona metropolis, Collserola Park has an intensive and diversified public use. This public use is one of the reasons for being in the park and contributes to the quality of life of the citizens who enjoy it. However, excessive frequenting in some areas, and certain particularly aggressive activities with the environment or simply illegal, is a threat to the ecosystems of the park.
6. Despite this vocation for public use, it is important to keep in mind that natural spaces are also useful even if they are not used. It is not necessary or desirable that all the places in the park be accessible to the people. Non-accessible areas play an important role in the persistence of species, communities and ecological processes.

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7. Ecological isolation is one of the main threats to the maintenance of ecosystems and the biological richness of Collserola.
8. The ecological isolation of Collserola is growing due to urban expansion and the proliferation of infrastructures. Reducing this isolation must be one of the main objectives of the Strategic Plan.
9. Plants or their genes also move: ecological connectivity is not important only for terrestrial vertebrates but also for plants and invertebrates.
10. To maintain the genetic diversity of semi-isolated populations, like many of those in Collserola, what is important is that organisms coming from outside.
11. Conversely, parks such as Collserola can act as “repoblators” due to the emigration of individuals born within the park to other territories.
12. The reduction of the ecological isolation of Collserola necessarily requires looking beyond the limits of the park. It is necessary especially to implement (and where necessary, restore) a system of ecological connections that guarantees the maintenance or recovery of ecological flows (of organisms, of genes, of matter and of energy) between Collserola and: (1) the pre-coastal mountain range ; And (2) the other massifs of the coastal mountain range.

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13. The most pressing problem for the maintenance of the ecological connections of Collserola is in the contact between the park and the valley plain. There are still important agricultural and agroforestry areas in the valleys that have a key role as a food area, as a habitat, as an ecological connector and as buffer zones.
14. The Collserola Strategic Plan must set as its highest priority objective to conserve (wherever possible and desirable, recover) the agricultural and agroforestry areas of the Vallès plain that are in contact with the park or in its vicinity .
15. The greatest current threat to the maintenance of the ecological connectivity of Collserola is the development of the Direccion Center, in the municipality of Cerdanyola del Vallès. The massive urban development projected in this area will pay 340 hectares of dry land crops that constitute the last large rural window that is left in Collserola and will culminate the ecological isolation of the park with respect to the valley plain and the pre-coastal mountain range.

Ferran Rodà
Catedràtic d’Ecologia de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Investigador del CREAF (Centre de Recerca Ecològica i Aplicacions Forestals)

 

URBAN TOURISM IS NOT WHAT FAILS, BUT THE MODEL DEVELOPED

Starts the war between tourists and local community in urban centers. For now the battle is won by visitors, but the predictions do not point in that direction. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is beginning to surface …
Recently the alarms have been triggered by the appearance of conflicts between local population and floating population, that is to say tourists and hikers and local population, that in many destinies, especially urban, double and triple in number to the residents of those neighborhoods where they are located Accommodation and entertainment activities.

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When talking about tourist capacity, it is no longer just the environmental or cultural issue, but the social one, which even affects the health of the population, since it is very likely causing stressful situations that can lead to total rejection To visitors who invade that minimum space of intimacy that exist in the cities in which tourism explorer has arrived and conquered all those neighborhoods and corners, that previously were to the margin of these tourist flows.
The phenomenon of low-cost as well as collaborative economy has allowed in record time that millions of tourists who did not have access to the existing supply, can already and that implies that the demand has grown and will continue to grow exponentially.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg that is starting to surface and if you do not know how to manage, unsustainability will end up emerging altogether, which will of course achieve that tourist competitiveness is lost.
There is a certain fact that there are tourist segments that are not compatible neither in time nor in space and therefore it is essential to define towards which demand one wants to direct. Because the motivations and expectations of each market segment are very different, but coincide in the same physical environment.

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It would be good to remember that cities are not designed or prepared to be a tourist destination and respond to the expectations of visitors, but to give satisfaction to its inhabitants, where they also open to receive a tourist arrival, but in a sustainable way, Without substantially altering the social, environmental and cultural balance.

arturo CROSBY 12 de Julio del 2017, HOSTELTUR

BARCELONA, ​​A SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION GOAL

Tourism does not stop growing in many places around the world, including Barcelona. The city council has set out to carry out a series of measures to reduce its negative impacts and maximize its return to the citizens as a whole.
If you ask someone to tell you ten words that define Barcelona, ​​surely one of the first places is the tourist word. Barcelona has many things, including a tourist city, which is ranked in the most attractive cities in the world for those who like to travel, along with New York, Paris or London. The factors that made it a tourist for many years, and especially since 1992: the great cultural heritage that it contains, gastronomy, sports – Barça is the main claim, but There are many more – the beaches, the climate and a way of being of its inhabitants … But the tourism activity also has negative impacts, especially in environments such as the Parc Güell, the Sagrada Família, the heart of the Neighborhood Gothic, which every day receives thousands of visitors. These visits need not hinder the daily lives of residents. On the other hand, Barcelona needs to be a destination where all visitors, regardless of their age and condition, can enjoy and participate in the experience of the visit.

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Xavier Font, professor of sustainable marketing at the University of Surrey (Great Britain), warns that “cities often begin to manage the impact of tourism only when it is too late”, and that “unlike visitors to beach destinations And natural parks, city tourists use the same infrastructure as the locals. ” Xavier Font points out some of the proposals to make Barcelona embrace more sustainable tourism, which does not hinder daily life in the city and that it benefits the citizens: “It is convenient to attract tourists for out-of-city escapes, which mean less burden for To the urban infrastructure. It is also important to attract customers that behave more like locals. Those who visit Barcelona for the first time go to the Sagrada Familia, but those who repeat – among which the French stand out, for example – are already divided into lesser known areas of the city. It is also necessary to reduce seasonality, with special emphasis on activities that can be done in winter or in lesser times, and also to offer products and services produced locally and ethically. “

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Tourists give a high score (8.7) to the city and highlight the architecture, culture, entertainment and restoration. As a negative aspect, they show that the prices are too high in relation to the quality and the massification of tourist zones and monuments. This is indicated by the 2016 Tourist Activity Report.

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Overnight stays in the hotels of the city of Barcelona rose 5.5% last year, reaching 19.5 million. Significantly increased airport passengers, 11.2% (44.1 million), and cruise ships arriving in the port of Barcelona, ​​5.6% (2.6 million). On the other hand, 86.7% of Barcelonans consider that tourism is beneficial for the city. According to the 2016 Tourism Activity Report, the percentage of those claiming to set limits on the arrival of tourists (48.9%) for the first time exceed those of supporters who attracted more (47.5%).

AJUNTAMENT DE BARCELONA, ARA.CAT

TECHNOLOGY UNVEILS WHAT PEOPLE WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES FEEL

The project is born of the will to want to know in an objective way the mental state of people who can not express it by themselves or who are not even aware of it because it is valuable information to improve their well-being and quality of life, To improve their therapies and customize them to make them like them and more effective, “explains IRD research director Joan Oliver.

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The problem is that these people not only can not express their emotions but they do not use the help tools that are used with others, such as face recognition software, so we thought the solution was to look in your mind and in your Body physiological signals emitted by its state of mind, because we know from the literature that each emotion is associated with physiological patterns, “said Jainendra Shukla, a robotic researcher involved in the project.

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The handicap was that these patterns did not exist in people with intellectual disabilities, so the first task of IRD researchers was to develop them by combining external information-facial expression, eye tracking, subjective information from therapists who know the person- With internal information – heart rate, electrodermal and cerebral activity – of some of the residents of the Ave Maria Foundation while provoking different intense, positive and negative emotions.

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With all that information, and obtained in other experiments mediated by therapists who interpreted their mood, researchers have developed MuDERI, a multimodal database for the recognition of emotions among people with intellectual disabilities, in which it has been systematized and Labeling each mood state from the physiological signal patterns found in the experiments.

MAYTE RIUS, Barcelona, LA VANGUARDIA

ECONOMY FOR PEOPLE

The subsidies granted by municipal bodies may cover up to 80% of the projects submitted that relate to and deal with the social and solidarity economy.

Sustainability, participation, inclusion and commitment to the community are some of the values ​​that govern the so-called social and solidarity economy (ESS), a set of socio-economic initiatives that drink from the influence of the cooperative movement.

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Barcelona has some 4,700 initiatives of this type, of which 2,400 are entities of the third sector and 861 are cooperatives, according to the study ‘L’economia social i solidària a Barcelona’ (2016).
The initiatives included in this alternative economic model, where the satisfaction of the needs of people is above profit, have the support of the City Council, as demonstrated by the approval of the Pla d’Impuls to the social economy and solidarity to Barcelona 2016-2019 ‘. The current municipal government highlights from the ESS model its ability to create more stable jobs and combat inequalities, both social and territorial.

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In this sense, the plan of the city council – a fruit of a previous diagnosis and the contributions gathered in a hundred meetings with different agents such as companies, networks and federations – contemplates visibilizar this alternative economic model, support new projects generating stable and sustainable occupation And strengthen existing projects.

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With these objectives, two calls for grants, amounting to € 1.9 million, have been launched, which for the first time will cover up to 80% of the total cost of the projects to ensure their viability.

The recipients of this call are entities and companies of ESS, of small dimension, but also groups of people with projects of community economy that are not formalized with legal form.

ARTÍCULO COMPLETO, LUIS BENAVIDES, EL PERIÓDICO

THE EVOLUTION OF THE CONCEPT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

In recent years, in the international debate on future economic progress, the concept of sustainable development has become a central element. Our lifestyle has changed very rapidly in this century because of the great advances of science and technology and issues such as environmental problems are increasingly important in the debate on defining future development models.

The conservation of natural resources, the rationalization of agricultural production or the control of pollutants are topics that are treated by their importance every day by governments (national and sub-national), economists and environmental pressure groups, who find support Of an increasingly large segment of the population.

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The concept of sustainable development is not perceived in the same way by each stakeholder: if everyone agrees that the development model adopted must be sustainable, in a way, this term generates different ideas and values from person to person. The same term development, for example, can be understood in different ways, according to the ethical beliefs, persuasions and objectives of people.
The purpose of this paper is to define and delimit the concept of sustainable development by analyzing the main agreements, principles and implementation measures.

The term “sustainable development” makes its first appearance in an official document in the text of agreement signed by thirty-three African countries in 1969, under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. While this was the first concrete form of application of this concept, its history goes back many years before. Since the last decade of the nineteenth century, traces have been found in debates and discussions between Thomas Malthus – advocate of “apocalyptic theory” on the future of the human species – and Marie Jean Antoine Condorcet, who theorized, on the contrary, a period characterized by Human beings capable of guaranteeing future generations happiness and not just mere existence.

In the same year 1969, America gave birth to the Environmental Protection Agency, whose guidelines have, from the outset, fundamentally influenced all developments in theories and practices of environmental policies around the world. In the NEPA Act (the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969), sustainable development is defined as: “economic development that can bring benefits to present and future generations without damaging biological resources or organisms in the planet”.

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These two fundamental aspects have characterized the so-called “Brundtland Report”, also known as “Our Common Future”, the report prepared by the United Nations Commission headed by Gro Brundtland, published in 1987 after several years of studies, debates and meetings. While it can not claim the right of birthright, the 1987 Brundtland Report has undoubtedly had the merit of bringing economic and industrial development problems to the forefront of public opinion throughout the world.

In the definition, which is found in this report, we do not really talk about the concept of the environment as such, but rather refers to welfare, and therefore to the quality of the environment, thus highlighting the main ethical principle understood as responsibility On the part of the generations of today towards the future generations, and evidencing the two aspects of the environmental sustainability: the maintenance of the resources and the environmental balance of our planet.

In the same document it emphasized the protection of the needs of all individuals, with a view to universal legitimacy to aspire to better living conditions, as well as emphasize the need and importance of greater citizen participation, to implement a Process, in fact increases democratic possibilities in the international arena.

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Sustainable development requires meeting the basic needs of all and extending to all the opportunity to implement their aspirations for a better life. Satisfying essential needs requires not only a new era of economic growth for nations that the majority of the population is poor but also ensuring that the poor have a fair share of the resources needed to sustain this growth. Equity should be supported both by political systems that ensure the effective participation of citizens in decision-making, as well as by greater democracy in international decisions.

ARTÍCULO COMPLETO Giuseppantonio De Vincentiis

STRATEGIC TOURISM PLAN 2020

Barcelona has become one of the main European urban destinations. Its attractiveness has increased the number of tourists on a constant basis, consolidating the economy of services aimed at the attention of visitors, transforming much of the central territory of the city in a few years. Barcelona is a tourist city and will continue to be, foreseeably, for many more years. And this situation is not without challenges.

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In the Strategic Diagnosis presented in September 2016, the challenges and the strategic objectives are set to respond based on an in-depth analysis of the current situation and the future perspectives. And in order to respond, the Action Proposals are presented in a detailed and structured manner as a result of intensive active listening of a plurality of diverse agents, expert voices and document analysis.

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Barcelona has become a tourist city in record time and nothing suggests that it cease to be in the near future. Tourism, as already mentioned at the beginning of this reflection process, can not be considered as an economic activity other than the place where it occurs. Tourism is an inherent part of the city. Assuming this scenario highlights new priorities for the destination tourism strategy.
The Strategic Plan must integrate all the instruments and mechanisms available that allow to build new sustainable future scenarios that guarantee that the generation of wealth derived from tourist activities does not put into play the future of destination as an object of desire but not as To a territory that welcomes many other economic practices and ways of living it. Secondly, we must guarantee the sustainability of the destination in an indispensable way, and do so with an extended look, incorporating other fundamental criteria into environmental issues such as the quality of jobs or the strength of business relationships with The local economic fabric. Sustainability must be considered not only as a brand attribute but as a desired effect for the entire value chain, as a milestone to be achieved in the whole destiny.

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The third of the priorities must be the design of the mechanisms to guarantee the best social return of the economic activity generated by being a destination of the first order. A social return that, without dissociating itself from sustainability, must be generated from multiple redistributive mechanisms, through the generation of shared value in the territories, but also activating multiplier effects to favor the business cooperation of strategic sectors . In short, turning tourism into a lever of change to activate other non-extractive economic activities, benefiting from the constant influx of professionals and institutional positions that visit Barcelona every year.

AJUNTAMENT DE BARCELONA

PLA ESTRATÈGIC DE TURISME 2020

THE EVOLUTION OF BARCELONA AS A TOURIST DESTINATION

TWENERGY.COM

The consolidation in recent years of Barcelona as a tourist destination has driven the development of a model of sustainable and responsible tourism that aims to improve both the quality of life of citizens and the experience of visiting tourists.

For the Barcelona City Council, tourism is an activity with great economic and social importance, which requires the commitment and effort of all the agents involved at a transversal level, with the common challenge of promoting the development of a sustainable city.

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Some of the main aspects generated by tourism are:

• Creation of new infrastructures: the development of new services requires the construction of facilities that, in addition to facilitating the enjoyment of tourists, are positive for residents.
• Generation of occupation: there is the demand for qualified human capital for the development of new services and infrastructures that provide a quality stay.
• Knowledge and exchange with other cultural realities: interaction with people from different parts of the world enriches social diversity and collaborates with respect and coexistence of citizens with other cultures.

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Although it is true that the benefits generated by tourism are significant, it is important not to dissociate the tourism model from that of the city with the objective of guaranteeing its sustainability, both economically, socially and environmentally.
From the momentum of the organization of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, ​​the Catalan city has experienced an accelerated growth in tourist activity, becoming one of the international reference destinations (Barcelona receives about 27 million visitors each year).

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One of the peculiarities of tourism in Barcelona with respect to other cities is that it is a tourist reference not only on a cultural level, but also as a destination for business, congress and sports, as shown by the events that have been held recently.
In order to meet the requirements of this certification, it is necessary to carry out continuous improvement plans aimed at guaranteeing the quality of life of citizens and a good experience of visiting for tourists, making Barcelona an increasingly competitive destination.

POST COMPLETO TWENERGY.COM

WHAT CAN GOVERNMENTS DO TO SUPPORT ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION?

Companies that can afford it, invest billions of dollars a year, to reduce and mitigate the environmental and social effects of the damage caused by the manufacture and transportation of their raw materials. These investments need what we know as research and development, infrastructure construction, maintenance and attest that processes are regulated and follow the laws in force.

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It is necessary that such companies have incentives to achieve the objectives imposed by the standards and that the consequences of manufacturing and transportation do not directly or indirectly affect the environment. For this reason, the companies invest in state-of-the-art technologies that minimize the decline in environmental degradation, with the idea of ​​not facing costly consequences before governments, courts, public opinion, etc …
Among the problems in which an adequate environmental policy is needed, three stand out: the increasing complications surrounding official environmental assessments, the emergence of the concept of social license and the effects of changes in fiscal and regulatory environments.

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At the global level environmental assessment processes have been unduly long, complicated, costly and uncertain. This increases the risks of investment by companies and could lead to the abandonment of probably successful projects. Trying to replace or improve infrastructure has become a global nightmare and the bureaucracy generated around the environment does not help the development of new technologies and innovations to come to fruition, so the first step would be to manage more Agile all that implies the evaluation at the level of Environment.

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The concept of social license that exists in many countries has increased the risks of innovations and investments, which could lead to better environmental results. Social license is such a diffuse concept in deciding what projects will be allowed by regulatory institutions, which opens the door to arbitrary decisions and threatens the rule of law. Finally, a company that commits itself to a major investment, whether in infrastructure or innovation, expects a return on its investment. The yield calculated is always hypothetical, since the future is unknown, but one of the determinants of return is the cost of regulation and taxation. A volatile regulatory and fiscal environment discourages investment as it creates additional uncertainty.

ARTÍCULO COMPLETO ECOTICIAS.COM