How Madrid is planning to reduce car use and cool the city


An image of what the Madrid Nuevo Norte project could look like. Photo: AFP

The Spanish capital is embarking on a major urban transformation project to help make the city more sustainable. New green spaces will be developed, public transport will be reinforced and the use of soft mobility will be encouraged, and all in completely redeveloped neighbourhoods.

The Madrid Nuevo Norte programme is a vast initiative to redevelop an entire part of the city, around the Chamartin train station and the surrounding neighbourhoods, covering an area of approximately two square km, including 40ha of green space.

Two final architectural firms are still in competition, and the work is scheduled to begin in 2023 and could last more than 20 years in total. In fact, it is one of the largest urban renewal projects in Europe.

A major business zone could also be built in this environment.

The entire area will be turned upside down, with concrete gradually giving way to greenery and cars being replaced by more sustainable modes of transport.

The idea is to improve the infrastructure to accommodate cyclists and to increase the supply of public transport.

Through this transformation, the goal is also to cool the city, with temperatures that could drop by 3°- 4°C thanks to the installation of an urban green canopy.

By denying access to polluting vehicles, the zone will also considerably reduce pollution and noise levels. After all, this project is above all intended to improve the quality of life of the people of Madrid.

This sustainability strategy aims to revolutionise mobility in a city where nearly 80% of trips are still made by car.

That is why the municipality will simultaneously begin to deploy, from 2023 to 2025, a vast low-emissions zone that only the least polluting vehicles can enter, and which should eventually cover almost the entire city. – AFP Relaxnews

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