In Rome they call it the "ring road", in the USA there is the "Beltway", Madrid will soon call it "via verde". The Spanish capital aims to fight the heat island of its city surrounding himself with a sea of green.
A green fortress around the city
The urban forest project in Madrid involves the planting of nearly half a million trees on a perimeter of 75 kilometers (46 miles) around the city. When the trees reach maturity, they are expected to absorb around 175.000 tons of CO2 per year.
Black pine, beech, Spanish juniper and various oak species are all found in the arid center of Spain, where Madrid is located. These are the indigenous trees with little need for water that will make up the new forest.
“What we want to do is improve the air quality throughout the city. We want to combat the 'heat island' effect, absorb greenhouse gas emissions and connect all existing forest masses ", says Mariano Fuentes, Madrid environmental development councilor.
Madrid does not want to be a "killer city"
Fuentes explained that cities emit three-quarters of all man-made CO2, they tend to absorb much more heat and stale air than the surrounding countryside. We need to reverse this trend, and Madrid is at the forefront. But that's not enough.
"It has to be a global strategy," he adds.
It is not just about cars, but also about one pedestrianization strategy, the creation of environmental corridors in each neighborhood. To involve citizens in this new green culture, each city must face the situation in the best possible way.Mariano Fuentes
A long way, but to be done in a short time
Experts assured reporters that "it is not a park", but certainly for the nature-loving citizens of Madrid, it will be a place of rest, shade and habitat for birds. A "wellness factory" that will work day and night to absorb excess heat and clean the air of the megalopolis.