Nine out of ten housing blocks in Madrid Nuevo Norte will have mixed uses, including ground-floor retail, workplaces and facilities.
The project is committed to urban life and street socialisation, based on an urban model that embraces mixed uses that coexist and complement each other.
Urban life in streets and squares prevents public spaces from becoming unfriendly environments. The design and mixed uses envisaged for Madrid Nuevo Norte will encourage street activity.
Activities that encourage socialisation are crucial to ensuring urban vitality. Culture, retail, sports, leisure push people to leave their personal private space, gather with other citizens and share the same environment.
Ground floor retail is a significant pull factor for urban socialisation, which, in turn, contributes decisively to vibrant street life. Buildings in traditional European cities mix different complementary uses, energising the public space. These cities combine housing and workplaces, retail shops, schools, cultural centres, parks, etc. in the same building or on the same street, enhancing the quality of shared space while encouraging interaction between neighbours.
This mix of uses was largely forsaken in recent decades, focusing on urban models with areas exclusively earmarked for housing, office or other purposes. When these uses were restricted to a given area, the streets were frequently emptied of activity, having to rely daily on the car to move around and travel from one car park to another, hampering the use of this much-needed public space. A case in point is several close examples from urban developments in our country from the turn of the 20th century. The design focused on a city model that neglected elements necessary for the well-being of citizens living in the new neighbourhoods.
The most advanced urban trends today try to break from the pattern of the last decades that focalised on dormitory towns, empty of life during the daytime; business cities, totally deserted at night; and large shopping centres or malls, isolated from their surroundings.
Madrid Nuevo Norte, the urban regeneration project of northern Madrid, has sought to energise public space from the outset. To that end, mixed uses will play a decisive role. Indeed, more than 90% of the housing blocks will have ground-level retail, while the provision of workplaces and offices spaces on the first floor will be encouraged.
Additionally to these tertiary uses, the integration of other facilities, such as clinics or fitness centres, will be explored. All this built on an efficient hyper-connected public transport network, enabling people to move around easily without a car.
This measure seeks to recover mixed uses and typologies that will enhance the quality of life of the inhabitants in northern Madrid, based on a pioneering and responsible urban model.