And again a text I have co-authored (there is also an abstract in english). The Economic Barometer of the City of Madrid presents a vision of the city economy, with an analysis of the current situation based on structural elements and a vision of the city rank as related to other metropolitan areas. Our text appears on the first issue in 2013.
The question asked by the City of Madrid, which led to writing this article, is to which extent the renovation of the built stock can contribute to re-start the building industry? As the current economic crisis in Spain is largely tied to the real estate crisis, the issue is really complex.
The article must not be read as a forecast; in urban planning, as in almost any matter linked to the real world and not only that of the ideas, a prevision of the future is not possible, even more for a distant future, but you can at least define an idea on where you want to go to at least orient your actions, that will forcibly be to adapt to the unknown.
But it is an analysis of the current situation of the housing stock in the city (with the limitations deriving from an article of 40 pages), of what is being made in other similar contexts, and of what could happen if the European directives on energy efficiency are really enforced. Because, as much of the XXth century city was defined by the car, the XXIst century could be, at least in Europe and according to the rules that are being configured, be defined by energy and environmental quality requisites; I can see the skeptic smiles of some, but in fact this would only be an evolution of a previous idea of modernity enclosed in the hygienism of the late XIXth century.
The building renovation sector can become important in Madrid as there is a need to renovate a residential stock with problems and there is a set of new government measures; but for this there is a need to orient clearly the current revision of the General Plan to that end, and to have families understand the benefit of renovating their current homes instead of moving towards newly built homes, not forgetting the need to normalize credit markets. And improving employment, to solve the two biggest deep problems: youth unemployment and the offer-demand unbalance of the residential market.