Trees are ready to conquer Madrid. To fight rising temperatures and alarming pollution rates the Spanish capital is investing in nature. The government has recently announced plans, reported on El País, to renew the face of the city, covering it with plants.
According to the project, city parks will be widened and restored and 22 new urban gardens will be established. Vacant public spaces will be freed up to generate community gardens. At the same time the banks of the city’s scrappy Manzanares River will be densely planted with trees, doubling the size of a linear park constructed in 2003. There will be exceptional fundings for green roofs and buildings will be encouraged to plant their facades with cooling, insulating creepers. Paved squares will be implemented with plant beds to allow a better rain absorption. Furthermore the city will fund a new urban gardening school.
When everything will eventually be in place, Madrid should become fresher, cooler, cleaner, and more livable. It’s easy to feel delight at plans that are so obviously poised to improve quality of life. The project have been given priority for serious reasons that go far beyond simple beautification. Currently, Madrid is drying up.
Being on a high, dry plateau distant from the temperature-moderating effects of the sea, the city has always had a moderately extreme climate. Winters are surprisingly crisp and cold, while summer heat can transform its paved squares into searing grill pans. The plans ane based on a study entitled Madrid + Nature and conducted by Arup. They estimated that by 2050 there will be a 25% drop in the city's accumulated rainfall, having alarming consequences.
Madrid is responding to this crisis in a very smart and brave way. It is promising to see the willingness of investing on such long-term projects to improve the quality of life rather than on huge shopping malls and parking spaces. This is a response to an urgent problem (Madrid’s pollution levels routinely exceed E.U. limits),and it should be taken as an example for every city.
Source and Images: Co.exist