Sustainable Cities™

Double Reclamation: Madrid’s Rio Project

Ambition is the desire of achievement. Ambition can be an object, a state, or result, and generally its limits are capped by the individual. An ambitious city can be a venue for change and demonstrate how dynamic creativity can allow for anything to happen. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, the mayor of Madrid from 2003-2011, held his city in this regard and the result was The Madrid Rio project.

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Ambition is the desire of achievement. Ambition can be an object, a state, or result, and generally its limits are capped by the individual. An ambitious city can be a venue for change and demonstrate how dynamic creativity can allow for anything to happen. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, the mayor of Madrid from 2003-2011, held his city in this regard and the result was The Madrid Rio project.

The project originated when the section of the M-30 highway - which runs parallel to the Manzanares River - was moved underground, resulting in an open area of 649 hectares. The Dutch design firm West 8 united with renowned architects from Madrid under the name MRIO arquitectos, creating the now implemented proposal envisioning an area of environmental, sporting, leisure and cultural interest. The river bank has now become an integral part of the city center, uniting districts in proximity.

3 + 30

The concept behind Madrid Rio, 3+30, has divided the area into a sequence of strategic projects that establish a basic structure serving as a foundation for a number of further projects. Initiated in part by the municipality as well as by private investors and residents, a total of 47 subprojects with a combined budget of 280 million Euros have since been developed, the most important of which include: the Salón de Pinos, Avenida de Portugal, Huerta de la Partida, Jardines de Puente de Segovia, Jardines de Puente de Toledo, Jardines de la Virgen del Puerto and the Parque de la Arganzuela.

Accents of Ambition

Designed as a linear green space, Salón de Pino is the backbone that links the existing and newly designed urban spaces with each other along the Manzanares River. A composition of 8,000 pine trees unfolds a natural and sculptural atmosphere, or rather botanical monument.rio

The ambition of relocating the Avenida de Portugal within the tunnel and relocating 1,000 parking spots underground, made room for a landscape of poetic gesture. The reclaimed space is designed as an abstraction of the valley crossing into Portugal, which is known as an oasis of cherry blossoms in otherwise inhospitable climate.

In addition to the various urban spaces a series of bridges were required to enhance connections between the districts along the river. Puentes Cascara, the most notable bridge, is a not only a technical achievement, but a new iconic landmark in which the river is experienced along with the fine mosaic detailing by Spanish artist Daniel Canogar.

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Accessibility has played a key part in the overall ambition. In order to make it easier for people with physical, mental or sensory impairments to enjoy the riverside park requirements of universal design were followed, ensuring the river pathways and parks are not in any means an obstacle.

Photo Credit: West 8 Studio

Read More:

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Madrid: Changing behavior towards sustainable transportation

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 / By George Peter Surovov

Last updated Monday, April 07, 2014

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