Barcelona (Spain)

Type/s of pollution

Noise pollution

Sustainable Development Goals addressed?

Number of citizens scientists involved


The pilot was concluded in October 2020.

What was this project about?

The Noise Maps project focused on deploying a citizen science process in the neighborhoods of Sagrada Familia and the Raval (Barcelona) to address the challenge of noise pollution, a serious problem related to health problems (lack of sleep, psychological ailments, cardiovascular disease, risk of higher stroke) and negative social effects (weakness of social cohesion and coexistence, reduced quality of life, loss of cultural diversity). Noise pollution was an urgent problem in the pilot areas, with active community groups on the lookout for a solution to help improve their living conditions. 

Noise Maps allowed citizens to generate and analyse urban sound data, empowering communities to take action to reduce unwanted noise and protect the local sonic heritage. The pilot built on existing cultural practices of collective documentation of the sound heritage of neighbourhoods (Mapa Sonor). Thanks to project activities citizens have been able to filter unwanted noise out from authentic, locally unique sounds, thus allowing communities to take action to preserve their sonic heritage. Noise Maps deployed a combination of tested tech and methods with a novel approach, to empower communities to leverage the power of citizen science to tackle local challenges of global relevance.

Noise Maps was implemented by Bit Lab Cultural Cooperative, a Barcelona-based non-profit organization which works to democratize access to culture and innovation through community projects.

What was novel and innovative?

The local community can be seen as the project initiator for this pilot, they asked researchers’s support to solve their problem with noise pollution and the results were helping them in reaching a positive policy impact at local level. Moreover, citizens have been involved not only in data collection, but also in data gathering tools development, data curation, analysis and results presentation to decision makers. 

Are you interested in doing something similar?

See the video presentation held by the team at Ars Eletronica 2020.

Pilot’s media