Villacís stresses that the Urban Forest will combat desertification and territorial imbalance

Acto Villacís Bosques Metropolitanos 11 dic
  • The heat map shows that the southern part of the city is much hotter, mainly because less has been invested in green infrastructure
  • The Deputy Mayor has stressed the need to invest in green infrastructure with species that are indigenous to and sustainable for the city

The Deputy Mayor, Begoña Villacís, participated last 11 December in the opening of the forum 'Solutions based on Nature: The Role of Urban Forests', held today at the Madrid City Council's assembly hall and as part of the events organised for the Climate Summit, in which she stressed that this project to bring the city back to nature will make it possible to combat desertification and contribute to reducing the territorial imbalance between the north and south of the city.

Villacís stated that while the city of Madrid is not normally associated with desertification, heat map analysis makes it evident that the southern zone of the city "is much hotter", mainly due to the fact that less has been invested in the southern zone in terms of green infrastructure. With this in mind, she has indicated that this is a symptom of the "territorial imbalance" between the north and the south, which currently means that "there are fewer trees per inhabitant in the south than in the north".  

For this reason, she has shown support for "changing the paradigm and setting politics aside" in order to invest in green infrastructure that includes autochthonous and sustainable species of the city "and not on plane trees for everyone to see growing after four years before the next election. They will be autochthonous species that will surround the city, they will be sustainable, generating quality spaces for residents and balancing out the climate and pollution," she said.

As regards the community and the Urban Forest, Villacís has emphasized the importance of citizen participation in this project which will "generate that citizen effect" and will overcome "individual desires in favour of the collective", which "will materialize in this Urban Forest".



Project Details

The creation of an Urban Forest is executed through the Areas of Urban Development and Economy, Innovation and Employment.

It is expected that in February 2020, the municipal government will allow initial bids for proposals, with a budget of 200,000 euros granted to the project selected for the creation an Urban Forest in the city of Madrid that will have a total budget of 75 million euros during this first term, financed through European Union ERDF funds and contributions from private companies. Madrid City Council already has 16 million euros in its budget to start the project, which will cover 600 hectares.

It is expected that this municipal action, which will be developed over the next 12 years, will begin with the planting of 100,000 trees in a first phase in the districts of Vicálvaro and Villa de Vallecas, which are the main areas of the city where there are currently fewer wooded areas. In addition, this initial point of the project envisages the construction of an environmental interpretation centre and parallel infrastructures such as bicycle lanes and pedestrian areas.

This Urban Forest will extend along 75 kilometres surrounding the city and is initially estimated to help absorb 170,000 tons of CO2.

For Spanish translation of the press release, click on:

Video of the Bosque Metropolitano Project:



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