28 July 2018 – El País
More green spaces, sustainable transport and a new financial district (city), which is going to change the face of the Castellana over the next 20 years. The thoroughfare that crosses the north of Madrid is going to grow up around Chamartín station, which will become a large hub due to its proximity to the airport. The mayor of the city, Manuela Carmena, having reached an agreement with the Minister for Development, José Luis Ábalos, the Community of Madrid and the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN) presented the Madrid Nuevo Norte project, also known as Operación Chamartín, on Friday. It is going to be one of the largest urban planning developments in Europe, and its aim is to launch the Spanish capital into the 21st century.
In numbers, Madrid Nuevo Norte is going to involve the renovation of an area spanning 2,600 km2, where the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), the Town Hall, the Ministry of Development and the Community of Madrid are going to build a financial centre with large green spaces, modern buildings for latest generation offices and a new train station, which will be at the heart of the new financial district.
The future Chamartín station will become a domestic and international hub. Its strategic position, given its proximity to the Madrid-Barajas airport, will allow for journeys in record time. Adif is considering creating a direct connection between the station and the airport. The public company controlled by the Ministry of Development also announced that it is going to work on a direct connection between Chamartín and Atocha train stations.
The new business centre will be home to three skyscrapers, one of which will stand 250 m high, the tallest in Spain. The project is being inspired by the north of Europe from an urban planning perspective (experts highlight the similarities with the new financial district in Amsterdam). Specifically, due to the coexistence of work areas and residential spaces. In fact, leisure areas and housing will be created in Madrid’s new city. The idea is to build a centre that will be “open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week”, according to explanations provided by the Councillor for Sustainable Urban Development, José Manuel Calvo (Podemos).
The project will divide the space into four zones: Chamartín station, the business centre and the neighbourhoods of Malmea-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Las Tablas Oeste. In total, the Town Hall, which has led the project and the negotiations with the private operators, has ensured that up to 20% of all the homes built in the area will be social housing properties (compared with 10% proposed by Ana Botella’s previous plan) (…).
In terms of the timings, the Town Hall expects to raise the project to the plenary this year. Nevertheless, the Community of Madrid still needs to approve several reports, including the environmental study, which is mandatory. The Community of Madrid is expected to approve the plan next year. If so, the first bricks will be laid in three or four years time. According to estimates from the property developers, this project will generate 200,000 jobs and involve an investment of €6 billion.
Original story: El País (by Luca Costantini)
Translation: Carmel Drake