Madrid Nuevo Norte was the focus of the second day of the Symposium on Mobility and City organised by El Español and Invertia
The DCN’s President highlighted the key role played by Madrid Nuevo Norte in boosting the recovery of the Spanish economy
The project will create 348,000 jobs and have an economic impact of over €15 billion.
Madrid Nuevo Norte was the focus of the second day of the 1st Symposium of the Mobility Observatory of El Español. Under the theme “Smart mobility and smart cities: the future post Covid-19”, the Symposium organised by the digital newspaper El Español and Invertia analysed several topics during the week-long event, including the role of urban and interurban mobility in the post-Covid economic and social recovery and the future of transport and logistics.
The President of Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), Álvaro Aresti, participated in the meeting to explain the key elements of Madrid Nuevo Norte. He stated that Madrid Nuevo Norte is pivotal to the economic recovery of Madrid and Spain, given the difficult situation created by the pandemic. A recovery based on sustainability, because “Madrid Nuevo Norte is a 100% sustainable project that will create a 100% sustainable city”, he said.
Aresti announced that the Madrid Nuevo Norte project, and the public measures that will be implemented in parallel, including the renovation of the Chamartín station or the redevelopment of Nudo Norte, will create 348,000 jobs, of which 200,000 in the construction phase and the rest during the project implementation phase.
The Autónoma and Complutense Universities in Madrid and the Polytechnic University in Valencia built on data taken from an economic study that shows that the projected investment will create an economic impact of around €15.2 billion during the 24 years it will take to complete the project, 90% of which is to come from the private sector. Furthermore, different public administrations -State, Community of Madrid and Madrid City Council- will collectively collect €5.8 billion in tax revenues.
The President of DCN considers Madrid Nuevo Norte “the best example of the transformative and economic power of sustainable urban planning”. He stated that this initiative is unlike other urban projects because it is a “strategic action for the city, whose relevance transcends the regional and national level”.
Social consensus and sustainability
Aresti highlighted the efforts made by all administrations to make Madrid Nuevo Norte a reality. He strongly stressed the consensus reached to approve the project, which, in his view, makes it “the best example of public-private partnership”. The project, which involves three levels of government and has extensive citizen support, obtained the final approval of the Government of Madrid on 22 July with the endorsement of all political forces represented in the Madrid City Council. “Today, we all agree that Madrid Nuevo Norte is necessary for the future of our city. It now really is a project for all”, Aresti stressed.
In this regard, Aresti underscored that Madrid Nuevo Norte represents a new way of building a people-centred city in which citizens were brought on board from the outset.
Aresti highlighted that, in the case of Madrid Nuevo Norte, sustainability is written into the “project’s DNA”. “We seek to be a benchmark for sustainable urban planning in the coming years; a mirror in which other cities that wish to undertake urban regeneration processes can see themselves”, he explained. Along these lines, he reiterated that the project has strived, from its design phase, to obtain the sustainability certifications awarded by LEED and BREEAM, the two most renowned organisations internationally.
Among the measures proposed to achieve the highest levels of urban sustainability, Aresti highlighted the possibility of locally generating renewable energy using geothermal and solar power, or creating thermal networks for district heating and cooling. He also revealed that they are considering, together with Adif, the possibility of installing at the railroad stations electric car recharge stations powered by the energy produced by trains when braking.
Chamartín station, pivotal for the project
Madrid Nuevo Norte’s sustainability plan rests in no small degree on an ambitious mobility strategy, based on an extensive public transport network and the promotion of walking and cycling. The new Chamartín station will play a central role in this strategy, according to Aresti, who assured that “Madrid Nuevo Norte would not exist without the station”. “The station gives meaning to this project and makes it truly unique for Madrid. The station and Madrid Nuevo Norte go hand in hand, they give meaning to each other, and together offer a virtually unlimited capacity to transform Madrid,” he added.
The renovated station will be at the core of an extensive hyper-connected public transport network, with high-speed trains, commuter lines, Metro, urban and intercity buses and a pioneering bus rapid transport system with traffic light priority. All this within 15 minutes from Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas International Airport.
Aresti highlighted its prime location with unique local, regional, national and international accessibility. The ideal place to build the large central business district projected for Madrid Nuevo Norte. In his view, “it will contribute to positioning our capital in the world’s league of major cities, who champion the new knowledge economy and compete to attract leading companies and the best talent”.
Regarding the date of commencement of the works, DCN’s President stated that they are expected to start “as soon as possible, albeit with the maximum legal certainty and technical excellence”. Aresti announced that the first step would be to cover the rail tracks in the first half of 2021, begin the development works at Las Tablas in mid-2022 and start building throughout 2023. The area where the CBD will be located will also start to be developed in 2023.
Model city in sustainable management
Madrid Nuevo Norte also took part in the panel on Challenges for a new city model, in which Miguel Hernández, DCN’s Corporate Strategy and Development Manager; Martha Thorne, Dean of the IE School of Architecture and Design; Flavio Tejada, Director of Arup Cities in Europe; Guillermo Maldonado, Director of Tema Ingeniería and CEO of TEMA Grupo Consultor, and Javier Torralba, Director of Breeam Spain, explored more deeply how urban development can contribute to meeting the new needs of cities. Resilience, capacity to adapt to future changes, density, mixed uses and mobility are key issues that urban planners must address in designing people-centred cities.
Meanwhile, DCN’s Sustainability and Innovation Projects Manager, Ricardo Corales, took part in the panel on Managing cities and urban services. Water management, bringing further insight into Madrid Nuevo Norte’s approach and project resource management.
The event was live-streamed on the El Español website owing to the current health crisis.