Since in 1991 the Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen published her work The global city Much ink has been spilled about the influence that some metropolises have on the rest of the planet. A small number of cities have been added to the classic New York, Paris and London in the different lists of ‘alpha cities’ that have been made and in which, especially in recent decades, Madrid has always appeared.
And is that the capital of Spain is a leading city in many sectors and, in fact, there are thousands of international companies settled in its metropolitan area. To these fundamental aspects, we must add the activity of one of the most important international airports in the world, an exceptional transport network, an extension of green spaces that make it a global benchmark, a cultural and leisure offer unmatched in the world. rest of Europe and dozens of public and private universities throughout the region.
However, Madrid can take great pride in its infrastructures and this is precisely the premise used by the City Council’s Department of Economy, Innovation and Employment to launch an initiative that materialized in March 2020 in the form of association. Under the name of Madrid World Capital of Engineering, Construction and Architecture (MWCC) initially brought together 23 private companies and the three public administrations (national, regional and local), with the aim of attracting investment to the capital and its surroundings, making Spain brand as well as promoting urban solutions that serve to improve the quality of life of citizens. Currently, almost a year and a half later, the number of participants rises to more than 140 and the payroll includes from insurance companies, to universities, through banks, investment funds, certifying companies, electricity, architecture studies, engineering , the main construction companies in the world and even ministries, councils and other Spanish consistories such as Malaga.
Among the requirements that have been established as the axes of MWCC’s activity since its foundation are a high qualification of human resources and an intensive use of technology. In this way, and thanks to the creation of panels of experts and the more than one hundred interviews carried out with specialists, the Sector Strategic Plan for Madrid from which the association was born. And, despite the fact that the entire life of the organism has taken place in a pandemic, this has not been an obstacle to developing a very intense activity that has resulted in the establishment of strategic agreements, preparation of studies and reports, direct collaboration with the environment academic, organization of congresses, conferences and meetings, promotion of competitions, editorial publication or design of software and apps of public utility.
Among the most significant initiatives are the development – together with the Official College of Architects of Madrid (COAM) – of a mobile application for anyone who is interested in learning about the main infrastructures of the capital. Also in the field of architecture, MWCC has published the work International Infrastructures with Spanish Footprint, where the most relevant international projects executed by companies in our country are exposed. And in terms of social responsibility, the entity has signed agreements with two organizations as active in the third sector as the Fundación a la par or Plena Inclusión Madrid or the Asociación Sonrisas.
In addition to working on studies and technical notes, the association also published an explanatory and advisory report on the NextGeneration funds of the European Union to promote the access of the Spanish business fabric to them, as well as another text, this time economic and technical, on the impacts of the pandemic on the construction sector in the region.
In terms of innovation, MWCC is working intensively on the Innovation Lab project, together with the Community of Madrid and the Fundación Metrópoli. This is being deployed in what will be Madrid Nuevo Norte, an urban development that will generate an investment of 20,000 million euros to the region in the coming years and around 350,000 jobs, according to official data, as well as the construction of 10,500 homes – the 20th % of them with some type of protection— and the implementation of 400,000 square meters of green areas in the form of an immense central park.
Regarding talent prospecting, the organization chaired by David García Núñez has designed and published, together with Global Shappers Madrid, the contest 35 under 35, with which they selected the best professionals in the world of engineering and architecture from all over the country.
Excellent reception of the ECTP conference
In early December, MWCC co-hosted the ninth annual conference of the Construction Technology Platform in Europe (ECTP) in the Palacio de Cibeles in the capital. The meeting brought together more than two hundred professionals around their public-private technical conferences. In the words of the president of the association, David Garcia Núñez, “the celebration in Madrid of this event seems like a unique opportunity to attract investment and talent to the city. It is an unbeatable situation to continue leading business tourism linked to the capital, “he said.
With more than 50 speakers, fifteen round tables, 45 conferences and more than 30 participating international institutions, the conference was recognized by the European Commission itself. According to its representatives, the meeting can be considered as one of the most relevant to date in the entire continent. Not surprisingly, it had strong institutional support from ministries, state agencies and a total of 25 entities that collaborated with the organization of the event together with MWCC and the Madrid City Council. As representation of this institution, the closing ceremony was attended by the vice mayor of the city, Begoña Villacís, and the delegate of Economy and Innovation, Miguel Ángel Redondo, among other personalities, who thanked García Núñez for the involvement of the association with the city.
Connecting the business world with the academic world
Looking ahead to the coming year, the great event promoted by the MWCC – in this case by the hand of Global Shapers Madrid Hub – will be the hackathon ‘Urban Solutions Madrid’, which will take place next February 18, 19 and 20, in the La Nave innovation space. The meeting has the participation of six universities in the region and its objective will be to seek practical solutions to present and future challenges related to Madrid urban planning. To do this, the organizers will pose different challenges to the students with the aim that creativity and talent can be amplified.
In parallel to the hackathon, the event – which for health security reasons will be hybrid, which will allow its monitoring via ‘streaming’ – will also host three round tables whose discussion topics will be urban resilience, ecological and digital transitions, and cohesion social and territorial. Once the different tests are concluded, the event will close with a final presentation of the projects presented by the different working groups. The winners will obtain a financial prize and will be included in the Speedway platform for entrepreneurs from Banco Caminos.