One Cool Thing: Madrid Builds Green Fortress

Image: Dmitry Dzhus from London, via Wikimedia Commons

Many European cities are known for their impressive walls, but Madrid is taking siege protection to the next level. The city has embarked on a project to build a 75-kilometer urban forest surrounding the city, planting one million new indigenous trees. Madrid’s councilor for the environment and urban development, Mariano Fuentes, says the project will “improve the air quality in the whole city…fight the heat island effect that is happening inside the city…absorb the greenhouse emissions generated by the city, and…connect all the existing forest masses that already exist around the city.”

The new green wall will help absorb both the city’s CO2 emissions and its heat, and temperatures in the shade of new trees will be two degrees cooler than the rest of the city. But Madrid isn’t stopping there, says Fuentes, “It’s not only about cars, but also a pedestrianization strategy, the creation of environmental corridors in every district… and most of all… to engage citizens in this new green culture.”

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