Sustainability

The chance to help solve the social, economic, and environmental challenges of our times

Madrid Nuevo Norte and the SDGs

Madrid Nuevo Norte takes on the UN’s 2030 Agenda as a guide to carry out all its social, environmental and economic sustainability actions. The project addresses the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing proposals on all the points of the international roadmap that can be applied in the project’s field of action.

Madrid Nuevo Norte has placed special emphasis on four of those general goals, because it considers them critical, and also because it can act on them directly through the city’s design: clean water and sanitation management (SDG 6), the use of non-polluting energies (SDG 7), the creation of a sustainable urban environment (SDG 11) and climate action (SDG 13).

Centred around people

The first requirement for a city to be sustainable is to take the people who will inhabit it into consideration in its design. This means that the main goal of Madrid Nuevo Norte is to create an environment that provides well-being for the people who will live and work in it. A human dimension that encompasses all the aspects that can be influenced by urban design. To achieve this, it is vital to take the opinions of Madrid’s citizens into account, so we’ve been developing a complete plan for citizen participation throughout the project’s design and construction process.

Inclusive city

Madrid Nuevo Norte is designed to provide well-being for all of its inhabitants, regardless of their age, abilities, gender, or socio-economic conditions. We are committed to a new concept of inclusivity that goes beyond eliminating barriers: Expanded Universal Accessibility. This means that we are creating an urban environment that considers people's needs and the different ways that each person uses the public space, in order to guarantee equal opportunities when it comes to enjoying streets, squares, parks, shops and facilities.

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Living city

The urban model of Madrid Nuevo Norte creates a city that is full of activity and life at all hours, seven days a week. An environment where commerce, culture, and leisure will coexist with economic activity and neighbourhood life, with maximum access to public facilities and all types of sustainable transport.

A city with identity

Madrid has a unique identity, and Madrid Nuevo Norte seeks not only to preserve it, but to enhance it. We like Madrid, and we show it by uniting neighbourhoods, integrating the project into the city’s way of life, preserving its historical and cultural heritage and incorporating it into the new urban spaces. From the livestock paths that crossed the area for centuries, to the memory of industrial areas that are no longer in use. From the character of the old town of Fuencarral to the individual identity of neighbourhoods such as Begoña, the Colonia de San Cristóbal, or the Poblado Dirigido de Fuencarral.

But Madrid Nuevo Norte goes a step beyond merely merging with the identity of the adjacent neighbourhoods and aims to be a reflection of the entire city that it is completing, reflecting in its urban design the essence of the traditional and cosmopolitan Madrid that we like the most.

City of opportunities

Thinking about people also means thinking about sustainable economic development that generates opportunities for everyone. A project that will create local employment and boost the knowledge economy, so that the benefits generated by the project reach all of Madrid’s citizens, taking advantage, at the same time, of the potential of the future business district to attract the best talent from around the world to our city.

Environmental values

Madrid Nuevo Norte combines respect for the existing environmental values of the area with an intensive programme to add nature into public and private spaces. This naturalisation plan will create an ecosystem that will enrich the biodiversity of the area thanks to the use of native plant species or species adapted to the climate of Madrid.

New natural spaces

Madrid Nuevo Norte seeks to cover the city with green, to add nature into the urban environment. To do this, we are going to create an extensive network of natural spaces that will extend the existing parks in the north of Madrid and connect them with the Hills of El Pardo, where the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park starts. Thanks to Madrid Nuevo Norte, the biodiversity of the Sierra can penetrate the city through streets, parks and naturalised bridges, creating its own ecosystem that will enrich the urban space.

Not only will conventional green spaces be created, but the appearance of gardens on the façades and roofs of buildings will be encouraged, colonising surfaces that traditionally have not been taken into account when introducing plant species.

Preserving values

In addition to creating new natural spaces, Madrid Nuevo Norte places special emphasis on respecting and taking care of the environmental values that already exist in the area. And it will do this by regenerating disused and deteriorated areas to give them new life. Taking care of nature, rehabilitating contaminated soils and respecting the natural level of underground aquifers. These are just some of the many initiatives aimed at integrating the values of the natural environment into the new neighbourhoods.

Smart mobility

The way we get around the city each day greatly conditions our quality of life and the footprint we leave on the environment. It also influences our routes and the areas that we frequent the most. That’s why Madrid Nuevo Norte has been designed to enable us to get around in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible, so that we get there earlier, pollute less and spend more time where we want to be.

Thanks to the urban design, which will allow everything to be close by, and the large public transport network that will be created in the new neighbourhoods, most travel will be on foot, by bicycle or by collective transport.

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Reducing travel

The smartest way to achieve sustainable mobility is to ensure that people don’t need to travel long distances on a daily basis and when they do need to travel long distances, that they use public transport as their first choice. For this reason, in Madrid Nuevo Norte, the places with the greatest concentration of economic and commercial activity, such as the large business district, have been strategically located at the points that are most accessible by public transport. Also, offices, shops and homes will coexist to allow many people to live next to their workplace, saving thousands of trips a day and significantly reducing pollution.

On foot and by bike

Madrid Nuevo Norte has been designed so that citizens can find everything they need close enough to make walking, cycling or other non-polluting urban mobility systems the most comfortable options. For this reason, these healthy ways of getting around have been prioritised by creating an extensive network of safe pedestrian routes and cycle paths.

Public transport

An extensive public transport network that branches out from Chamartín Station will be created, providing access to all of the possible options so that citizens can choose the one that best suits them for their travel around the city or the region. Thanks to this network, the stops and stations of the Metro, Cercanías commuter rail, urban and intercity buses, as well as a new priority bus line, are scattered throughout the urban area. This means that the people who live or work in Madrid Nuevo Norte will have immediate access to this network. This, combined with the digitalisation of infrastructure for smart mobility, will help make public transport the preferred option.

Efficient delivery

The strong growth of e-commerce and the delivery of parcels and orders, known as last-mile logistics, poses an important challenge for cities due to the increased vehicle traffic that it generates. To respond to this challenge, Madrid Nuevo will implement an efficient strategy to deliver goods sustainably. The project will integrate the logistics network into the new development in a coherent and well-planned manner, and the implementation of a complete network of small warehouses and distribution points is being studied.

By doing this, Madrid Nuevo Norte plans to minimize the distances between the loading points and the final delivery points, among other additional measures, such as facilitating the night-time delivery of goods, digitalising the delivery process or installing a network of lockers and collection points throughout the area. An innovative logistics network that will reduce and optimise the movement of delivery vehicles in the city.

Sustainable energy

Energy is one of the pillars of sustainable cities. For this reason, Madrid Nuevo Norte will apply ground-breaking measures for smart production, management and savings that will serve as a spearhead to pave the way to extend them to the rest of the city.

A low-carbon energy management model that includes smart two-way grids, a determined commitment to electric transport and the goal of achieving positive-energy buildings.

Energy savings

Madrid Nuevo Norte’s innovative urban model also proposes the maximum energy efficiency of the environment to be built. To do this, the use of the energy systems has been optimised to avoid waste, and new ways of using energy are being proposed. We apply the latest advances in sustainability to take full advantage of economies of scale and save millions of kilowatts and explore the incorporation of district-wide HVAC networks.

Decarbonisation

Madrid Nuevo Norte will systematically reduce the use of fossil fuels by replacing them with clean energies to decarbonise the city, i.e. to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. This will result in less pollution and cleaner air, benefiting both the fight against climate change and the health of Madrid’s citizens.

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Renewable energy generation

Energy saving is not just about using less energy, but also about producing it more efficiently, replacing polluting energy sources with energy from the sun, wind or the subsoil (geothermal energy). Madrid Nuevo Norte will go a step further in the generation of solar energy, increasing the production in the buildings that are part of the project with respect to the normal standards and regulatory requirements by installing more solar panels and integrating solar-energy production into the streets and squares of the new district.

Water management

Water is a scarce natural resource in our region and may become even scarcer in the decades to come. This means that our cities have a great responsibility to manage water efficiently.

In Madrid Nuevo Norte, water plays a special role, not only because of the ground-breaking measures that will enable responsible management and consumption, but also because its value will be considered in the design and landscaping of the urban space and green areas. In addition, thanks to the project, the installations that supply 80% of the water that Madrid’s citizens drink will be renovated and upgraded.

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Saving and reuse

Water management is an absolute priority in Madrid Nuevo Norte. That’s why measures to reuse water have been implemented, which helps reduce water consumption in buildings and urban infrastructure. The project includes initiatives such as reusing the water collected from building roofs and the water used for bathing ("grey water"). Rainwater that reaches the streets will also be collected, stored and used for irrigation. A smart system that uses sensors to detect the atmospheric conditions will provide only the irrigation that is needed at any given time. The neighbourhood will also have a new network of reclaimed water to irrigate public green areas and for street cleaning.

Drainage and water cycle

Madrid Nuevo Norte is studying the implementation of sustainable drainage systems that reproduce natural soil conditions in its streets and parks. Instead of the usual impermeable paving that prevents water from filtering into the ground, porous pavement will be installed to allow the water cycle to be completed. The infiltration and capture of water in public spaces will be used to recharge the natural aquifers and also reused for irrigation.

Circular economy

The basis of the so-called circular economy is to redefine the growth model so that it focuses on the benefits that it can produce for society as a whole. And the creation of Madrid Nuevo Norte is a unique opportunity that will prepare our city for more sustainable usage of resources. The project will help to reduce environmental, economic and social imbalances, taking advantage of the blank canvas provided by the design of a new piece of the city.

Reclaiming materials

Taking advantage of the waste produced by construction sites to give them a second life in the project itself is doubly sustainable because it reduces waste and also reduces the consumption and transport of new materials. For this reason, wherever possible, the Madrid Nuevo Norte project proposes the reuse of waste materials produced in the project area. 92.5% of the materials present in the project area could potentially be reused.

Madrid Nuevo Norte’s commitment to the circular economy will start early on in the project’s urban development and construction phases, so a comprehensive approach to the materials to be used in construction has been planned, being careful in all phases of the life cycle of the materials to minimise the carbon footprint.

This will be complemented by a detailed waste plan that defines the measures for selective collection to properly store and sort waste for later reuse, and that will reduce the carbon footprint by close to 70%.

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Promoting a new model

Madrid Nuevo Norte aims to promote sustainable growth throughout the city of Madrid and its region, with initiatives that prioritise the nearby production of construction materials that are locally extracted and manufactured, to promote the regional economy and at the same time significantly reduce the drawbacks of transporting materials to the site. Agreements that make this possible, such as collaboration with the towns of the Madrid’s Sierra Norte, are being negotiated. In addition, priority will be given to materials that are recovered or partially or totally recycled.

Sharing resources

New models of sustainable mobility consume fewer resources and reduce costs by sharing the usual means of transport. This trend is constantly evolving, and Madrid Nuevo Norte will lay the foundations to facilitate the new forms of transport of the future, in addition to measures to optimise the “last mile” logistics, i.e. package delivery in the urban environment. Some of the measures being studied include the implementation of parking spaces that can be adapted for logistics use during the hours when they are not in use.