Saturday, February 24, 2007

Madrid Trip

Our trip to Madrid was very enlightening. The city has been the subject of analysis since that start of the year. There is a housing shortage and the city is initiating large housing projects in huge tracts of empty land in the first rings around the historic core. We visited a few of these developments as well as three empty pieces of land that the city identified as potential future projects. These will be the sites for the next quarter's design project.
The design project will contain within it a critique of the existing development projects seeing them as failing to create a vital and active community. The developments (called PAUs) are an awkward mix of a suburban isolationism and a mid-rise higher density development. Plainly said the streets are too wide and the open spaces and commercial areas are poorly integrated leaving a sterile environment with people stranded in islands of housing blocks.