Nature is poised to reconquer Madrid. Faced with rising summer temperatures, Spain’s capital has announced plans, to seam the city so thoroughly with new green patches that its face could be quite transformed.
Cities have been kicking out cars to curb pollution and boost the well-being of their residents. But Madrid has proposed something even smarter.
It’s not only banning cars from its downtown, it’s adding more green space. This is an important part of the equation that many cities don’t get right.
Madrid’s parks will be expanded and restored, and 22 new urban gardens created. Vacant public land will be freed up to create community gardens while the banks of the city’s scrappy Manzanares River will be thickly planted with trees, doubling the size of a linear park first begun in 2003.
Green roofs will get special funding and buildings will be encouraged to plant their facades with cooling, insulating creepers. Paved squares will be get green makeovers with plant beds to allow better rain absorption and the city will fund a new urban gardening school. Madrid could also take a leaf out of Copenhagen’s book by creating ponds for storm overflow.
When everything is in place, Madrid should be fresher, cooler, cleaner, quieter, safer, and more livable.