Madrid is constructing a ring of trees around the city to help with climate change issues.
Washington calls it a beltway, Paris calls it the Peripherique, and some countries in Europe call it the Ring Road, Madrid will call it the green way. It’s not a highway, and it’s not a park, it’s a ring of trees around Madrid. It will cover 46 kilometers, and since the city lies in the middle of an arid part of Spain, the trees will be natives which can survive in this climate and require little water–Black pine, beech, Spanish juniper, as well as several oak species. The green way has 2 purposes both to do with the environment and climate change. Some may remember a GGID podcast several weeks ago about urban forests, and this is Madrid’s answer, an example of how that idea can work. It will mitigate the heat island effect and be able to cool temperatures. And when the trees reach maturity it is projected they will absorb 175,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Mariano Fuentes who is Madrid’s counselor for the environment and urban development explains that with this green way they are trying to improve the air quality for the whole city, absorb greenhouse emissions, fight the heat island and connect all the existing forest masses that are already existing around Madrid. He also wants this to be part of a strategy that includes limiting cars, create environment corridors in every districts and enlist the participation of citizens in this green culture. For Madrid citizens who love nature the green way will be a place of respite and shade and perhaps one to enjoy the birds that are hoped will find new habitats there.