Tuesday, December 6

clear ideas

A few days ago, Más Madrid presented a contingency plan to respond to the historical challenges that arise in the city. Although the urban agenda remains what it was -pollution, mobility, inequality, cleanliness, security, urban planning and cultural heritage, access to housing…- it has been reframed in the triple crisis we are experiencing: the post-pandemic, the global reconfiguration stemming from Putin’s war, and climate breakdown. Three elements that interact with each other in the form of inflation, energy crisis, lack of strategic infrastructure and obsolescence of architecture of the municipal administration.

In the past municipal plenary session, a minimum plan was presented, welcomed by the Martínez Almeida government with the self-indulgent condescension typical of its main lack: a backbone idea for the city. Without clear ideas of the goals we seek, any effort to get there is useless. If, in addition, we add to this a formal or informal alliance with the extreme right, which works to go back and even deny the objectives, such as the 2030 Agenda, the lack of focus is total, and hence the current government team hardly raises patches, a sample of what can be and is not.

In this context, our group proposed five lines of action: people, climate change, mobility, energy and management. The first, on measures for individuals, families and small businesses, which is aimed at helping the bulk of the population navigate these uncertain times, with a determined political will in the salary update negotiated between the different social and governmental actors. , as well as a real update of the support funds for especially vulnerable individuals and families, on whom the new paradigm will impact even more harshly. Also, within this heading, support for small businesses as a source of employment, but also as a way of maintaining a city that continues to be so. And lastly, IBI aid for vulnerable families, for young people and for the cultural sector.

Second, a battery of measures to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change. A network of climate shelters is necessary, to prepare the city for those extreme events to which we are already beginning to be accustomed, and also a real commitment to the reforestation of green areas (in which, in addition to announcing that trees are going to be planted, planted, and then watered, for example), but also from our rooftops, a project tested in other cities that has been very successful.

Third, measures to promote the transition to sustainable mobility that make it possible to abandon the car, which occupies 80% of urban space, as the central element of the city. If today we had that network of segregated bike lanes and a properly managed and equipped BiciMad, we would see the emergence that has occurred in other cities around us. In addition, it is necessary to promote a high-speed bus network that connects the city with an urban area that has been completely neglected for 15 years.

Fourth, we need energy saving and rationalization measures based on evidence and not on quips or political marketing. The commitment to solar energy, both in public buildings and its promotion in private ones, is an imperative of the times that, far from being a fad for the headlines, have come to stay. That is why we propose a Municipal Energy Agency for the City of Madrid, which mainstreams the efforts of an Administration whose architecture has become obsolete.

Which brings us to the last point, the management and architecture of the Administration, in two axes: on the one hand, decentralization, the approach of management to the districts, where we make a proposal that walks towards a radical change in the representation district, the “neighborhood mayors”; and, on the other, the mainstreaming of the central elements of the urban agenda in an environment that breaks with the tendency of our municipal administration towards district “confederalism” and that of the central government areas.

In his blindness, Almeida has dedicated the budget to “bodywork and paint” and to alienating public resources into private hands, wasting the budgetary opportunity offered by being exempt from budgetary stability rules, the manna from European Funds and the exponential increase in the State Compensation Funds. If it continues in the next term, a mortgage on the future of Madrid will be consolidated, from which it will be difficult for us to get out in the very near future.

On the other hand, the alternative that we present, mitigating these challenges and preparing the city for changes that have come to stay, with political will and the conviction that they can be resolved, provides a better quality of life for all the residents of Madrid. But it is that, in addition, it is a democratic obligation because, if not, we run the real risk that citizens end up thinking that politics is worthless, and that it will happen to us like our neighbor Italy.