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The neighborhood where Madrid once began growing is known as “Madrid de los Austrias” (the Austrian Madrid, 1516-1700), and it contemplates the area of the city where the House of Austria decided to grow towards, around the medieval city. Nowadays it is fully inhabited and the destination for tourists and locals alike, who like to attend its museums and monuments, as well as its bars, restaurants and small businesses. The difficulty to access it and the state in which it has fallen into have provoked, however, a slow exodus, where the younger generations have moved out, leaving, as a consequence, an aged population. It is also the area of Madrid with the most foreign population (30% are from outside Spain). It is an area characterized by the presence of a very high number of informal activities, making the urban space a very important agent in its correct functioning. It’s also a very strong indicator of its vitality and potential.
The market has a great potential as a node for generating activity, not only through economic means, but also as a social centre, aspects that should be taken into consideration when planning the intervention. The project must take advantage of the neighborhoods’ high potential for social interaction and design a centre for generational cohesion, one that can offer something to do for all ages, as well as an open public space. The neighbors miss the old sports centre and swimming pool, as well as a dedicated care home for elders. The point is to investigate what solutions are useful for the area, and which might reactivate it, taking advantage of its potential. We encourage all groups to work around these concepts, taking into consideration the real necessities of the space.
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