Madrid Shared Space, Oct 2009. Attribution: EURIST e.V.

The Frugal Leftist Who Shook Up Madrid, May 24, 2019[1]

Read more

Madrid ( mə-DRID, Spanish: [maˈðɾið]) is the capital and most populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the second-largest city in the European Union (EU), and its monocentric metropolitan area is the second-largest in the EU. The municipality covers 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi) geographical area.

Madrid lies on the River Manzanares in the central part of the Iberian Peninsula. Capital city of both Spain (almost without interruption since 1561) and the surrounding autonomous community of Madrid (since 1983), it is also the political, economic and cultural centre of the country. The city is situated on an elevated plain about 300 km (190 mi) from the closest seaside location. The climate of Madrid features hot summers and cool winters.

Networks and sustainability initiatives[edit | edit source]

  • Neighbourhood initiatives across Madrid

Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas - Mapping and co-producing citizen initiatives
Authors: Cooperative City, May 20, 2017
  • Los Madriles, Atlas de iniciativas vecinales (Atlas of neighbourhood initiatives), "What you have in front of you is an unfinished atlas of Madrid and its neighbourhood initiatives that have created new spaces of possibility, through self-management and participation. It also wants to be a gesture of recognition, gratitude, visibility, self-criticism and inclusion." latest news item Jan 2019, content available under a creative commons license
  • Centro de Resiliencia de Aranjuez, closed 2017, content available under a creative commons license

Community resources[edit | edit source]

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

The mandate of left-wing Mayor Manuela Carmena (2015–2019) delivered the renaturalization of the course of the Manzanares across the city. W

Open spaces[edit | edit source]

Madrid has the second highest number of aligned trees in the world, with 248,000 units, only exceeded by Tokyo. Madrid's citizens have access to a green area within a 15-minute walk. Since 1997, green areas have increased by 16%. At present, 8.2% of Madrid's grounds are green areas, meaning that there are 16 m2 (172 sq ft) of green area per inhabitant, far exceeding the 10 m2 (108 sq ft) per inhabitant recommended by the World Health Organization.

A great bulk of the most important parks in Madrid are related to areas originally belonging to the royal assets (including El Pardo, Soto de Viñuelas, Casa de Campo, El Buen Retiro, la Florida and the Príncipe Pío hill, and the Queen's Casino). The other main source for the "green" areas are the bienes de propios owned by the municipality (including the Dehesa de la Villa, the Dehesa de Arganzuela or Viveros).

El Retiro is the most visited location of the city. Having an area bigger than 1.4 km2 (0.5 sq mi) (350 acres), it is the largest park within the Almendra Central, the inner part of the city enclosed by the M-30. Created during the reign of Philip IV (17th century), it was handed over to the municipality in 1868, after the Glorious Revolution. It lies next to the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid.

Located northwest of the city centre, the Parque del Oeste ("Park of the West") comprises part of the area of the former royal possession of the "Real Florida", and it features a slope as the height decreases down to the Manzanares. Its southern extension includes the Temple of Debod, a transported ancient Egyptian temple.

Other urban parks are the Parque de El Capricho, the Parque Juan Carlos I (both in northeast Madrid), Madrid Río, the Enrique Tierno Galván Park, the San Isidro Park as well as gardens such as the Campo del Moro (opened to the public in 1978) and the Sabatini Gardens (opened to the public in 1931) near the Royal Palace.

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

Across the Manzanares, lies the Casa de Campo, a large forested area with more than 1700 hectares (6.6 sq mi) where the Madrid Zoo, and the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid amusement park are located. It was ceded to the municipality following the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic in 1931.[128]

The Monte de El Pardo is the largest forested area in the municipality. A holm oak forest covering a surface over 16,000 hectares, it is considered the best preserved mediterranean forest in the Community of Madrid and one of the best preserved in Europe.[129] Already mentioned in the Alfonso XI's Libro de la montería [es] from the mid-14th century, its condition as hunting location linked to the Spanish monarchy help to preserve the environmental value.[129] During the reign of Ferdinand VII the regime of hunting prohibition for the Monte de El Pardo became one of full property and the expropriation of all possessions within its bounds was enforced, with dire consequences for the madrilenians at the time.[130] It is designated as Special Protection Area for bird-life and it is also part of the Regional Park of the High Basin of the Manzanares.

Other large forested areas include the Soto de Viñuelas, the Dehesa de Valdelatas [es] and the Dehesa de la Villa [es]. As of 2015, the most recent big park in the municipality is the Valdebebas Park. Covering a total area of 4.7 km2 (1.8 sq mi), it is sub-divided in a 3.4 km2 (1.3 sq mi) forest park (the Parque forestal de Valdebebas-Felipe VI [es]), a 0.8 km2 (0.31 sq mi) periurban park as well as municipal garden centres and compost plants. W

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

Cycling[edit | edit source]

BiciMAD is a bicycle sharing system in Madrid, Spain. It is currently provided by the Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid, a public company owned by the City Council of Madrid.

The service, originally granted to Bonopark SL, began operations on 23 June 2014. It was municipalized by the City Council on 17 May 2016. BiciMAD reached the number of 16,000 daily transportations for the first time in September 2018. As of March 2021, the system comprises 2964 bikes and 264 stations.

Food activism[edit | edit source]

  • Network of Urban Gardens of Madrid, The creation of the Network arose to make urban agriculture in Madrid visible, to respond to the needs of urban gardens to receive mutual support and share knowledge, experiences, inputs, etc.
One of the objectives of the network is to create a meeting point between community agroecology initiatives in our city and move towards a friendlier city model that is interested in issues such as environmental education, food sovereignty, open distribution channels of products, consumer groups, sustainable mobility, agrocomposting, etc. content available under a creative commons license

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

CiclaLab - Calle Abierta en Pasea Madrid
Authors: CiclaLab, Dec 14, 2015

News and comment[edit | edit source]


In 2018, Madrid Is the City to Watch for Environmental Progress, Jan 3[2]


Madrid as a democracy lab, Jul 10[3]

How Madrid's residents are using open-source urban planning to create shared spaces – and build democracy, Jun 27[4]

Madrid's mayor is determined to clean up its air – by pedestrianising its biggest shopping street, Jan 16[5]


Madrid Is Giving Itself a Car Ban For Christmas, Dec 5[6]

Madrid is covering itself in plants to help fight rising temperatures, February 3[7]


Madrid first city in the world to apply sustainability criteria to parking, August 6[8]

The Madrid P2P Commune, May 22[9]


Madrid's Big Plan to Swear Off Cars, December 4[10]

External links[edit | edit source]

Madrid W

References[edit | edit source]

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.