Friday, December 3

The green city

Cities, especially large cities such as Madrid, are undergoing an ecological transition that allows them to face the challenges of climate change and the need evidenced by the pandemic to enjoy a healthy public space. These are the main issues we address today in the Urban Innovation Forum, a day that we promote from the municipal group of Más Madrid, in which municipal officials from several cities, experts and representatives of the Madrid citizen movements participate.

From the forum we are going to put on the table the painful and notable urban and environmental decline that our city is experiencing, lagging behind the effort undertaken in other Spanish and European cities. Thus, Madrid is the European capital in which more deaths from pollution occur every year and the municipal government not only does nothing, but has suppressed Central Madrid and the waste strategy, it has revived the urban macro-development of the southeast, it is selling municipal land used for housing or is deregulating economic activities incompatible with residential use such as ghost kitchens, tourist lodgings, logistics platforms or terraces. In short, a return to the more stale neoliberal urban model, in disuse in other latitudes.

At the antipodes is the city we want, a greener Madrid, a compact city without urban fissures, which faces south through projects such as Conecta Vallecas, which involves the demolition of the M30 bridge as it passes through Vallecas; or the structuring of a green corridor along the Abroñigal and the continuation of Madrid Río, which promotes employment and housing for young people on ADIF’s land. We also propose, as a forceful, but constructive, serious and responsible opposition, projects that generate centrality in the neighborhoods, such as BRavo Murillo Friendly in Tetuán, or in Usera, Arganzuela and Carabanchel with Saint Mary of the Head and of the Heart, another corridor destined to unite Orcasitas with the center through cycling and pedestrian routes.

The green city is the city of neighborhoods, with more municipal self-government in the periphery districts. Madrid is the most centralized large European capital, with only 15 percent of the budget executed by the districts. Centralization generates inequality and for this reason it is necessary to open a progressive process of legal changes that, with a reasonable horizon, will lead to the constitution of true district councils with the capacity to manage their own resources.

The use of the existing city, fiscally stimulating the rental of uninhabited homes, the sustainable energy rehabilitation of the housing stock and the transformation of the urban space based on the COVID experience will be engines of job creation. A pact between Madrid’s political forces is necessary to guarantee, whoever governs, the obtaining in 10 years of 60,000 social housing for rent, a figure that would equate us to cities like Berlin or Paris, built on municipal land or with purchase in the secondary market .

It is very good that, finally, the new Plaza de España is inaugurated, but in parallel, the City Council keeps a multitude of facilities closed in different neighborhoods of Madrid, months after the works have been completed. For example, a sports center in Ensanche de Vallecas, a library in San Fermín, a senior center in Vallehermoso, a youth center in the Water Triangle of Puente de Vallecas… and so on up to more than 20 municipal facilities. It seems a metaphor of the different municipal interest to the center and to the periphery.

We work resolutely for a green, sustainable, inclusive, feminist and fair model, which is inspired by the best experiences in Europe in sustainability, aimed at caring for the city, its heritage, its environment and the health of those who inhabit it.

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