Madrid, population 3.2 million, sits in the center of the country and of the Autonomous Community of Madrid in Spain. It is the third most populous municipality in the European Union, adn is known for its great cultural and artistic life. The renewal of Atocha Railway Station is the symbol of the renaissance of sustainable transport modes.
The Madrid metropolitan area, with the fourth largest gross domestic product on the continent, is considered the main financial center of Southern Europe due to its economic output, high standard of living and market size. While Madrid hosts the head offices of most major Spanish companies and possesses a modern infrastructure, it has preserved the look and feel of a historic city.
Madrid’s modal split breaks down as 39 percent for public transport; 37 percent for walking; 23 percent for private motorized vehicles; and 0.6 percent for cycling, according to the municipal 2009 Status Report on Mobility.
One of the biggest recent initiatives in sustainable transport has been the ongoing expansion of the Madrid Metro. Serving a population of some 4 million, the Madrid Metro is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the world. With the addition of a suburban loop serving the south-west periphery of the city, it is now second only to the London Underground in Western Europe in terms of size. In 2007, the Madrid Metro was expanded to 283 kilometers.
To combat air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, the city runs a certification scheme for zero-emissions vehicles. Residents with vehicles powered by electricity or fuel cells — those producing zero direct emissions — are eligible for the SER certification which allows them to park in special green and blue parking spaces in the SER area free of charge.
The city also has residential priority areas, which restrict entry to only authorized vehicles (including those of neighbourhood residents, emergency services, delivery trucks and motorcycles during the daytime). The purpose is to reduce traffic noise and pollution in residential areas.
City Hall also promotes bicycling as a means of urban transport. It adopted in 2007 the Master Plan for Cycling Mobility, which sets out city policy in terms of infrastructure, regulation, municipal development and management. It has opened a special bicycle office which dispenses maps, routes, itineraries, recommendations, advice on rules and answers to frequently asked questions by cyclists.
In 2007, Madrid launched the Mesa de Movilidad (Roundtable on Mobility), an ongoing stakeholder discussion about guidelines and regulations in the field of mobility. Parties include mobility agents, including those from the private sector,.
In 2009, a major partnership to advance electric mobility was launched. The Movele Madrid project brings together the main power supply companies, manufacturers and others to carry out a demonstration pilot that will see the creation of a grid of charging points.
Summary finalized: January 2011
Almudena de la Guardia