Madrid, Buenos Aires (3)

Surface in sq m of the parcels in the historical core of Madrid (left) and in the San Telmo area in Buenos Aires

Surface in sq m of the parcels in the historical core of Madrid (left) and in the San Telmo area in Buenos Aires

What is an old city ? to begin with, an area in which the layout and the parcels are older; buildings are renovated and change much faster than usually thought, and but for some exceptions even the most medieval cities have a substantial share of their buildings with less than 200 years. Usually they are places with smaller parcels, as the technical and financial tools used to build housing were much more limited in precedent centuries.

You can note that the “grain” (relation of size among parcels) of historic Madrid and of San Telmo, the historic core of Buenos Aires, is similar. The layout is strictly different, as Madrid has a more organic system on which trials of a more regular city have been disposed, as the Plaza Mayor, built from 1576 (nearly the time of the second foundation of Buenos Aires).

Central Madrid has more ceremonial spaces than central Buenos Aires; the argentine capital compensates with an overwhelming array of wide boulevards (as the Avenida de Mayo, linking the hughe dome of the Congress to the Casa Rosada) and is position near the Rio de la Plata (which unfortunately cannot be seen from the urban core).

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

Plaza Mayor in Madrid

A detail of the Casa de la Panadería in Plaza Mayor in Madrid (on the right in the precedent image), after its restoration in the las decade

A detail of the Casa de la Panadería in Plaza Mayor in Madrid (on the right in the precedent image), after its restoration in the las decade

Espacio Artes y Oficios in the cloister of the San Francisco convent, San Telmo, Buenos Aires (image by gsonzogni in Panoramio)

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