Madrid is a great city, it is undeniable. Like everything that is adjective as great has been, is and will be criticized, as it should be, and often envy. And that envy will not always be bad, at least in the case of our city because what is not envied is not worthy of being. 2022 may mean the take-off of Madrid as a paradigm of the European capital of the future. The new forms in the conception of its urban planning, now interpreted from its municipal administration with a more professional and technical and less ideological or merely political style, seem to point to the inauguration of a perspective more linked to the people of Madrid and their needs and, consequently , more overturned in Madrid.
I do not want to be mistaken in venturing that this new perspective and these new ways of making the city constitute the germ of a more effective urbanism , whose impulse should not be slowed down whoever holds political responsibility in every moment.
Perspective, that technique to emulate nature that obsessed the great artists of the Renaissance and exacerbated those of the Baroque, is nothing more than a way of looking at, of noticing what is behind a building, a city, a work of art. art, a management, a way of thinking. The baroque Madrid, that of the Golden Age, the one that shapes, establishes and mediates the reality of Madrid urbanism in the centuries to come and until the 20th century, may well be the mirror in the that the Madrid of the XXI century has to be looked at. And far from seeming this as a return to the origin of the great city of Madrid, this new urban perspective, linked to management and focused on its citizens, can and should mean an evolution towards the universality of the city . The challenges are gigantic, but they could not be of another size speaking of a city like Madrid. The outcome of these challenges can be success or failure, but only the challenges that are faced make us move forward and grow, only the great challenges are worthy of great victories.
To the orderly growth of the city in the southeast , providing it with affordable housing, necessary as it is highly desired and demanded, the challenge of baroque rationality is imposed, since nothing should grow without look for quality and beauty. To the growth and regeneration of the city to the north, closing its railway gap and consolidating a new centrality, the challenge of that baroque modernity is imposed, as an obligation to form a global, inclusive and self-sufficient neighborhood, structuring at the same time communications and improving the urban mobility of the entire city.
Such challenges have other mirrors to look into. Here I allow myself to mention an urban project that tells of a success story in Madrid, Valdebebas . Densification, liberation of soil for green areas, integration, connection and mixed uses, quality in urbanization and in construction, carried out during two long decades, with no little effort and a lot of will by its first promoters. That vision and that management are what have to soak and guide the new urban perspective and with which the challenges to achieve this paradigm of a European and universal city have to be faced. This concept, Madrid as a European and universal city, is also and of course baroque, insofar as it is far from providentialism and integrates all the perspectives from which our city can be seen, as long as, also, they combine the Renaissance vision of the Prince of Machiavelli and the baroque vision of the Criticón de Gracián , the first focused on the greatness with which any city that claims to be universal must necessarily be imbued, with good government being first and foremost and proper management; the second, centered on the individual and on individual freedom in the face of imposed designs, whether divine or political. The adequate participation of both visions will undoubtedly facilitate the achievement of the objectives. For this we have multiple tools that are gradually becoming part of this new urban perspective. Thus and among others, public-private collaboration, inter-administrative and inter-institutional coordination and cooperation or the real and effective participation of the citizen in decision-making and in the improvement of execution and control processes. Without forgetting in the task the necessary social cohesion that must inform any urban strategy. Cohesion that must be imposed as the first principle for the universalization of the city. This is how our great baroque architects knew how to see it. There the Plaza del Arrabal, converted into Plaza Mayor with the first design of Juan de Herrera and culminated by Juan Gómez de Mora , an example of Madrid's baroque urbanism and of the integration of multiple uses implemented in the search of a social cohesion that constitutes an objective already proclaimed in the generation of the city.
To accelerate the new urban perspective, Madrid has a mature real estate sector , increasingly qualified and professional, which knows how to be in good times and push in bad times. With all this, the takeoff of Madrid in 2022 as a European paradigm can become a reality. Nothing allows the blocking of this new urban perspective. On this path, think that sometimes looking back is the best guarantee of a promising future. Madrid must aspire to be that example for Europe. Without complexes and without fear of tricks or attacks. Gracián already said it: who does not have enemies, usually does not have friends either. You never have to look for them, but any big city has to have them.
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