27 May 2021
for Madrid Nuevo Norte
The Financial and Investor Relations Director of Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), Sergio Criado, said this morning that Madrid Nuevo Norte, in the 27 years that have passed since it was first proposed, “from a necessity to an obligation”. The city of Madrid has been growing and the “wound” that the train tracks have generated in the north of the capital widened, the manager explained.
Criado, who participated in the round table Business participation in urban regeneration at the three-day real estate conference that SIMAPRO organises in Madrid, the SIMA real-estate expo, emphasised that Madrid Nuevo Norte wants to be a benchmark for new urban planning, focused on making friendly, walkable cities, “cities on a human scale”, he concluded.
In addition to Madrid Nuevo Norte, other important urban regeneration projects and actions throughout Spain were represented at the round table discussion. The director of Production of SEPES Entidad Estatal de Suelo, Cristina Alvarez-Campana; the president of the compensation board Ribera del Calderón, Javier Rodríguez, and the director of Railway Stations of Adif, Ignacio Sanz, gave their perspectives on how urban regeneration can benefit cities, helping them to evolve sustainably, without invading more territory.
The speakers agreed that the condition of “building inside the inhabited city” makes it necessary to be particularly sensitive with respect to the boundaries. Criado stressed that citizen participation has been a priority in Madrid Nuevo Norte from the very beginning. DCN created a Social Engagement area five years ago, making it the first developer in Spain to have this instrument. “We are going to be working in an area that is very central in the city and for that reason, we have to be extremely sensitive in the integration of the new elements with the existing ones,” he explained.
DCN’s financial director pointed out that 78% of the land in Madrid Nuevo Norte will be designated for public uses, such as green areas or facilities, while only 22% will be for lucrative, tertiary or residential building construction. The project has been conceived to have mixed uses, that is to say, although there are areas with a tertiary concentration – such as the business district – or residential concentration – as in the case of the area of San Roque, Malmea and Tres Olivos – uses will be varied throughout the project, so that there will be life and activity throughout the day and every day of the week.
Regenerating areas of the city that have become obsolete and isolated also involves providing the new districts with mobility infrastructure that enable the transition to more modern and sustainable paradigms. In Madrid Nuevo Norte, the aim is to achieve an 80/20 modal distribution, which means that 80% of travel will be made by public transport or soft mobility (pedestrians, bicycles or scooters) with only 20% of travel in polluting private vehicles.
“Madrid Nuevo Norte will be the largest multimodal transport node in southern Europe. It will be built around Chamartín Station and the business district. The project will provide the city with a new Metro line with three stops, a new Cercanías commuter rail station, in addition to the existing station, which will be completely renovated, urban and intercity buses and a new high-capacity bus with traffic light priority that will cover the entire project area”, said Criado.
All of the participants in the round table discussion emphasised that projects that are so important for cities cannot be carried out without public-private collaboration. In the case of Madrid Nuevo Norte, for example, all three levels of government – municipal, regional and national – are involved and the cooperation between them and with the private partner has been, is and will be vital for carrying out the project. Criado noted that DCN will sign multilateral and bilateral agreements with public administrations to manage certain infrastructure that will be created, expanded or renovated. . Initiatives such as these are essential in order to to limit deadlines, a fundamental issue for urban regeneration projects according to the participants in the round table.
Another very relevant issue is how this type of project can help revitalise the economy of cities. In the case of Madrid Nuevo Norte, a project that due to its size, location and importance can be considered a National Government project, in its 25 years of planned development it will contribute around 15 billion euros to the Spanish GDP. Between the construction phase and the new jobs that will be generated when the business district is fully operational, the project will create some 350,00 [sic] jobs and the public administrations will have a positive balance of some 4 billion euros thanks to tax revenue, DCN’s financial manager explained.