Tuesday, July 5

The ‘oversights’ of Almeida with the candidacy of UNESCO

Like many other projects and works, Almeida inherits the dossier of the candidature of the Paseo del Prado and the Buen Retiro Garden for Unesco World Heritage and must take it to the end. He inherits a long work that crosses mandates and that, in Manuela Carmena’s, reached the most consensual model of all with the creation of the Civic Social Committee to add knowledge, care and alliances between institutions, social entities and administrations and that ICOMOS has valued so much , the evaluating entity of the Madrid candidacy.

The mayor’s role is to continue on that same path to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site (a candidacy that has also implied an immense effort from the municipal staff themselves to work in the indicated direction). However, with the dismantling of a good part of the cultural and citizen participation policies of the previous mandate and with a city model based on the car, incapable of seriously fighting against pollution, Almeida systematically row in the opposite direction.

With the PP in the City Council, a cultural and environmental model has been installed that is alien to and contrary to the line that UNESCO and European cities are following to face the challenges of climate change, uncontrolled urbanization, mass tourism and sustainable socio-economic development .

Because the first neglect de Almeida, fundamental for the future of our city, is to dismantle Madrid Central, the low-emission zone that we launched in 2019 and which has become the most efficient in Europe. Let’s see what answer the mayor is going to give to the ICOMOS report that says very clearly (and literally) that “air pollution, caused mainly by private motor vehicles, is the most important factor in terms of the condition of the candidate asset.” ‘. And yet, now the municipal government is going to let more vehicles enter the city center and it seems that we are going to continue to be the European capital with the most deaths from pollution. Our proposal, our response, has always been blunt: we must restore Central Madrid, expand it and implement low-emission zones in the districts outside the M-30, in line with the recently approved Climate Change Law.

The second neglect of the PP also comes from the hand of the Area of ​​Mobility and Environment. As we have said, ICOMOS emphasizes that there are elements that threaten the integrity of the Property, such as the problems generated by the bus and underground parking lots in the Los Jerónimos neighborhood. Almeida is not enough to suppress Madrid Central, but, once again, ignoring the indications of the report, he will increase this problem with the macro-parking of Menéndez Pelayo, which will have a knock-on effect for thousands of vehicles. This irresponsibility – which, in addition, has the opposition from the neighborhood – is just another step back in caring for the environment, one more.

And finally, a third neglect It has been not to consult the Civic Social Council, created in 2018 as one of the most emblematic entities of the candidacy, because it represents Madrid society and promotes participation and dialogue. In the report itself, ICOMOS also points out that more should be done to this Council and avoid reducing it to a reactive entity.

But of course, here we proceed the other way around. Neither is the Council consulted to decide on the transfer of institutions within the property area (Medialab), nor is the word given not to carry out said transfer until the candidacy is voted by UNESCO. It has a solution? At the very least, fulfill the promise given and abandon the path of fait accompli, heeding ICOMOS ‘own recommendations on the care that the Civic Social Council should have.

In short, governance, participation, air quality, care for the environment … all the measures suggested by the evaluation of our Candidacy for the Prado and Retreat to UNESCO Heritage have to do with the city model that we launched in the past legislature, the model that the main European capitals are developing and that we will continue to defend in Más Madrid.

In October 2019 we met in Medialab in the plenary session of the Civic and Social Committee, we listened to each other and all entities, institutions, governments and opposition. There was an undeniable atmosphere of consensus. What has happened since then until now has only one name, Mayor Almeida, whom we urge to join cultural policies related to sustainable development and social cohesion and environmental policies aligned with the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda and the Law on Climate change. For the good of the Candidacy and for the good of Madrid.