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Greening Madrid to fight climate change

City planners in Madrid are responding to the challenge of climate change by covering the Spanish capital’s unused spaces in plants and greenery.

According to reports in Spain, the local government has given the green light for 22 vacant areas to be transformed into urban gardens and for a million-dollar investment to plant trees along the banks of the Manzanares River.

The projects – which follow a decision in 2014 to ban cars from Madrid's central streets – are inspired by a report published by international architecture and engineering practice Arup revealing how green urban environments can promote the health and wellbeing of residents in Madrid and cities around the world.

The report, called Madrid + Natural, responded to rising temperatures and pollution and falling levels of rainfall in the city by advocating the use of street greening and urban forests.

Research undertaken by the architects showed that areas in Madrid which utilised green roofs experienced temperature reductions of up to 4.5°C over the summer months.

“Increasing tree cover, flood capacity and providing greener streets and spaces are key elements of green networks, and can have positive effects on the economic and social cohesion of neighbourhoods, said Tom Armour, landscape architecture group leader at Arup.

“Research shows that tree-lined streets can encourage people to seek alternative modes of transport and pursue healthier lifestyles; leading to an increased sense of community belonging.”

Other initiatives proposed by Arup to improve liveability in Madrid include increasing tree cover on disused transport infrastructure, painting rooftops white and integrating water features like fountains, brooks and waterfalls into public realm. Arup said these would “provide natural habitats for wildlife and spaces for human enjoyment.”

Juan Azcárate, the deputy director of energy and climate change at Madrid City Council, said: “Through workshops, meetings and sessions along with experts, the team set up by Arup and Madrid City Council have outlined our findings and are facilitating communication with other actors who should be involved in the development of our green initiatives.”

Madrid  Arup  environment  Spain  green projects  urban ecosystems  cities  climate change 
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10 Dec 2015

Arup outline vision for greener global cities

City planners in Madrid are responding to the challenge of climate change by covering the Spanish capital’s unused spaces in plants and greenery. According to reports in Spain, the local government has given the green light for 22 vacant areas to be transformed into urban gardens and for a million-dollar investment to plant trees along the banks of the Manzanares River. The projects – which follow a decision in 2014
CLD,ARC,DES,ECO
Research undertaken by Arup showed that areas in Madrid which utilised green roofs experienced temperature reductions up to 4.5°C over the summer months / Arup
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