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Madrid Rio Project

 (Pete Carr)
Photo by Pete Carr

The Madrid Río project originated when the section of the M-30 ring road running parallel to the Manzanares River was moved underground, resulting in an area of parkland 10 kilometres long. The river bank has thus become an integral part of the city centre, and now offers Madrilenians and visitors an area surrounded by vegetation and filled with wide a range of sports, leisure and cultural facilities. The redeveloped area covers 649 hectares in six districts: Moncloa-Aravaca, Centro, Arganzuela, Latina, Carabanchel and Usera. The Madrid Río project will create a large area of environmental, sporting, leisure and cultural interest.

The restoration process has affected the course of the river itself, both banks and nearby streets. Now that the area has been freed from traffic coming from the M-30, Madrid residents and visitors to the city can once again start enjoying the Manzanares. Moreover, the project has meant removing an obstacle which has separated the districts from the centre and south-east of the city for so long. To achieve this, 17 new walkways have been built, among them the Matadero and Invernadero walkways, whose arches are decorated with mosaics by Daniel Canogar, the Puente del Principado de Andorra bridge, and the bridge designed by Dominique Perrault, which crosses over the new Arganzuela Park and links Paseo de Yeserías with Avenida del Manzanares. Some of these walkways are destined to become new landmarks in the city. Other existing pedestrian bridges have also been rehabilitated, including the Puente de Segovia bridge, which has recovered the splendour of Juan de Herrera's 16th-century design, and the old dams have been transformed into walkways.

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