The Municipality of Madrid publishes every year a report on the building rights defined in the current General Plan that are still to be used (edificabilidad remanente). As a result of the current economic crisis (which at least in part is due to an excess housing offer as related to demand), their numbers as of january 1, 2014, are (for a city slightly over 3 million residents):
– Housing: 19.867.607 sq m (some 195.600 homes, that could house about half a million people)
– Industrial: 11.383.048 sq m
– Tertiary (what for most of our American friends would be commercial): 7.874.561 sq m
So there is still a large amount of potential job for everyone involved in city building; but where are the people that will populate that, work in new factories or office cubicles, or buy in new retail spaces? therein lies the rub… This capacity can be seen as an asset for the future, which is unpredictable in itself. But it seems a long term future.