city of empty cities

Spanish cities had been revaluing real estate properties, and the city itself, by inventing general headquarters of anything in the suburbs.

This has been the end of branches spread all around the city, in order to be joint in one site together. Downtown is not the representative quarter par excellence anymore. Then, different so-called monofunctional “cities” have started to blossom in inner peripheries: Telefonica City (one of the main telecommunications firm), Santander Group City (one of the main banking corporations), Real Madrid City (grouping all their football training facilities) or the recent Barcelona and Madrid Cities of Justice.

Santander Group envisioned before the crisis, that they should rather sell all their offices in Spain, and then rent them again; they managed therefore to earn largest profits before the real estate bubble went off. But Madrid City of Justice was not so lucky. After a bombastic project to revalue farmlands in the outskirts, the whole mega-project needed to be stopped a couple of months ago (1,4 million euro had already been spent only on advertising).

Controversy started, when officials decided that each cylindrical court should be built with a budget of social housing rectangular blocks. But after the 90% completion of the first court, the whole project has been frozen. The rest 14 courts, each one signed by a different architect, hadn’t even been started. And yet, 6-12 million euro are to be used in contract cancellations. Meanwhile, desert streets remain in the middle of an organic sandy landscape…

[image1> aerial view of Madrid City of Justice from googlemaps] [image2> empty sites in Madrid City of Justice via madridiario]

Leave a Reply