Baracaldo, also known as Barakaldo, is a city located in the Basque Country of Spain, with a population of approximately 100,000 inhabitants. It is situated on the left bank of the Nervión River, and it is known for its industrial heritage, rich cultural life, and its bustling nightlife. However, with this activity comes the issue of light pollution, which has been a concern for both the residents and the environment of Baracaldo.
The amount of light pollution in Baracaldo is significant, as it is in many other urban areas around the world. According to recent studies, Baracaldo's skyglow level is around 20.89 mag/arcsec², which means that it is a moderately light-polluted city. This level is measured using the Bortle Dark Sky Scale, which ranges from 1 (darkest) to 9 (brightest). The scale is based on the ability to see faint celestial objects in the night sky, and Baracaldo's skyglow level is equivalent to a Bortle Class 5 sky.
One of the primary factors that contribute to Baracaldo's light pollution is the city's industrial activity. Baracaldo is home to a variety of industries, including iron and steel manufacturing, shipbuilding, and chemical processing. These industries require large amounts of energy, which often result in high-intensity lighting. Additionally, the city's port is a significant source of artificial light pollution due to the need for bright lighting to ensure the safety of ships navigating through the Nervión River.
Another significant contributor to light pollution in Baracaldo is the city's nightlife. The streets of Baracaldo are bustling with activity well into the night, and many of the city's bars, restaurants, and nightclubs have bright signage and lighting that adds to the city's overall illumination. The use of streetlights and decorative lighting in public spaces, such as parks and plazas, also contributes to light pollution in Baracaldo.
Despite these factors, the city of Baracaldo has taken steps to reduce light pollution and promote dark skies. In recent years, the city has implemented energy-efficient lighting solutions in public spaces, such as LED streetlights, which use significantly less energy than traditional lighting methods. The city has also launched an awareness campaign to educate residents and visitors about the importance of reducing light pollution and preserving the night sky.
Baracaldo is a city with many notable landmarks, including the Bilbao Exhibition Centre, which is the largest exhibition center in the Basque Country, and the Max Center, one of the largest shopping centers in the region. The city's industrial heritage is also reflected in the landmark Suspension Bridge of Portugalete, which was built in 1893 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Additionally, the city is home to a vibrant cultural scene, with museums, art galleries, and cultural events taking place throughout the year.
The people of Baracaldo are proud of their city's heritage and cultural offerings. The city's residents are known for their friendly and welcoming nature, and they take pride in their local traditions, such as the annual Herri Krosa race, which attracts runners from around the world. The city's culinary scene is also renowned, with local specialties including pintxos, small snacks that are typically served with a drink, and bacalao al pil-pil, a dish made with salt cod.