Madrid gives green light to “largest regeneration project in Europe”

A €7.3bn plan to redevelop 2.7 million sq m of northern Madrid has been approved by the city council after 25 years of political deadlock.

The Madrid Nuevo Norte (New North) project will involve constructing 348 office building and 10,500 homes, as well as three metro stations shops and parks. It will also bury the Chamartín railyards, a "wound" in the urban fabric between the Plaza de Castilla and Avenida de Burgos.  

The company taking forward the plan is Distrito Castellana Norte, and is made up of the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, better known as BBVA, (75.5%) and contractor Grupp Sanjose (24.5%). The design consultants include Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Luis Vidal Architects and Arup.

The project is also being championed by a centre-right coalition between the Popular Party and  Ciudadanos, which took power in Madrid on 26 May. They are projecting an €18.3bn increase in economic activity as a result of the regeneration, leading to 241,700 new jobs.

The plan has met opposition from neighbourhood groups, who describe it as a profit-driven "speculative operation".

Construction is scheduled to start in late 2020 and finish around 2044. Work will progress in three stages. The first will redevelop the central business district, the second will deal with Las Tablas Oeste and the third the Malmea-San Roque-Tres Olivos.

A video presentation of the project can be seen here.

Image: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ image of the redeveloped district

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  1. Actually, the approved project was discussed and agreed by the previously ruling city council, led by left wing parties. The project has been approved in the council’s plenary session with 100% of positive votes, covering all political spectrum.

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