The ‘Herrera en Cope’ radio programme was broadcast live from the new exhibition space at Madrid Nuevo Norte
On January 10, the “Herrera en Cope” radio programme was broadcast live from the Madrid Nuevo Norte exhibition to raise the audience’s awareness about this project that will transform the capital into one of the most innovative cities in Europe.
Carlos Herrera interviewed Antonio Béjar, president of DCN, who underlined the importance of the historical consensus reached around the project. “It has not been easy getting the three Administrations to agree, but, ultimately, the sense of responsibility has prevailed over political interests”. Delving deeper into this concept, Béjar welcomed that “the dynamics of the past have been laid to rest”, when each party wanted to build its own Operation Chamartín. This project does not belong to any administration or any political party; it belongs to Madrid and its citizens”.
Regarding the recent renewal of the Adif contract, Béjar recalled that the price DCN will pay to the railway operator for the land “is public knowledge and has been so for many years. As all experts agree, it is a fair price,” he emphasised.
José María Fidalgo, former secretary-general of Comisiones Obreras participated in the programme, highlighting that “although the project´s city scale model is wonderful, the best model is the agreement between governments from opposite ends of the political spectrum”. He also lauded the work done “by all sides”. The historic trade union leader stated, “projects like these civilise political parties” and described the Madrid Nuevo Norte project as “a test passed with full marks”.
Simon Smithson, an urban architect and partner at the prestigious British architectural firm Richard Rogers, RSH P, clarified that this is the largest, European project relative to the size of the city. Smithson, a design consultant to DCN for Madrid Nuevo Norte, stated that other leading projects worldwide share commonalities with Madrid Nuevo Norte, but are not comparable, owing to certain factors. According to the British architect, the King’s Cross project in London and Hafencity in Hamburg are significantly smaller than the project in Madrid, and others like London’s Canary Wharf and La Défense in Paris are located in areas further from their urban centres. In that regard, Smithson stressed that Madrid Nuevo Norte is located “within a consolidated Madrid” and that its “length is equivalent to the distance between the Neptune Fountain and Plaza de Castilla”.
Smithson considers that a pre-condition for the success of the project is that “beyond the concurrency of expert urban planners, it has, above all, the support of the residents”.
Lorenzo Álvarez, president of the Las Tablas Residents’ Association, underlined the problems of isolation and lack of connection that the residents of Las Tablas have suffered for years, and described Madrid Nuevo Norte as “a highly social project”, as it incorporates crucial aspects such as connections, security and gender perspective. The neighbourhood representative believes that the project is “positive for the city of Madrid, not just our neighbourhoods”.
For her part, Ana Romero, the representative of the San Miguel de Chamartín Residents’ Association, welcomed the end to the deadlock that has gripped Madrid for over 20 years. She highlighted the problems generated by the gap void caused by the rail tracks and the degradation of the neighbourhoods. Regarding citizen participation, she stressed that the project has taken into account the contributions made by her association.
The talk show host, Carlos Herrera, said that Madrid Nuevo Norte is “an urban regeneration initiative that will help Madrid become a benchmark for 21st-century city models”, and highlighted that “more than 200,000 jobs will be created, while the new modern, balanced skyline will attract companies”.
Madrid Nuevo Norte’s interactive space, from where the well-known radio programme was broadcast, has a pioneering shape, unlike anything seen before in our country. This space was created to explain and disseminate information on this urban development project.
Located at 120 Castellana Avenue, the exhibition is now open to anyone who wishes to learn about the most critical urban transformation project in the capital.
This interactive space, which can be visited from 9 am to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday, consists of five thematic rooms in which the different concepts and characteristics of this new area in Madrid are described. The focal point of this show is undoubtedly the spectacular 16-square metre city model that represents the physical appearance of the project and the surrounding neighbourhoods, once built. The exhibition also features audiovisual material and immersive experiences, designed to transport the visitor to the Madrid of the future. Worthy of note is the immersive VR experience with 360º images, which allows the visitors to stroll through the future streets and parks of the project.
Listen to the interviews via the following links: