Reinventing Madrid

The completed <em>Madrid Rio Project</em> will transform a highway into a large urban park, and is just part of the ambitious agenda of Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, an agenda that earned him the nickname "the pharaoh."
April 26, 2011, 5am PDT | Victor Negrete
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In the 1970's the construction of the M30 motorway divided Madrid in two - relegating neighborhoods that were once "just over the river" to the periphery.

On April 15, 2011 after 8 years of work the Madrid Rio Project was finally completed. The infrastructure project includes "links to existing historic parks, sports and cultural sites, kilometers of bicycle paths, playgrounds, 32 foot bridges, 33,000 new planted trees, and an urban beach."

The new park is one of 70 new construction projects initiated by Gallardon since he came to power in 2003. According to a post from the polis blog, Gallardon's agenda has been driven by an obsession to turn the Spanish capital into a "global city," following the Barcelona example. The post attributes Madrid's current debt problems to Gallardon's agenda which appears, in the author's opinion, to be driven by "legacy-making" ambition rather than benevolent inspiration.

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Published on Friday, April 22, 2011 in Sustainable Cities Collective
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