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Arup decarbonisation strategy will regenerate Madrid’s emerging tech hub

Isabel Iglesias Isabel Iglesias Europe Press Office, Spain
25 November 2021

Arup has unveiled the strategy behind the net zero regeneration of MADBiT District, breathing life into this emerging tech and creative hub in the north-east of Spain’s capital city.

Spread across more than 165 hectares, Arup’s strategy will recast this former business park into an innovation district hosting an ecosystem of leading tech and data firms, including Spain’s soon-to-be-opened largest data centre.

Hemmed in by seven underground stations, the new knowledge district boasts excellent data connectivity to the national fiber-optic network and close proximity to the airport.

Working with the local MADBiT association, which brings together commercial asset owners, real estate investors and blue-chip corporate tenants and among others, Arup’s plan sets out a decarbonisation route map for the district, the regeneration of public spaces while hothousing initiatives in the digital, creative economy.

The area’s decarbonisation strategy builds on an agreement with Repsol that will create the country’s largest smart platform to manage aggregate demand. It will integrate renewable energy generation and energy storage with distributed generation systems to meet local consumption needs.

As the recent COP26 negotiations made clear, the coming decade will be critical to reduce the impact of global warming. Innovative decarbonisation strategies like MADBiT are a clear example of how neighbourhood-scale interventions chart a path forward for emissions reduction in cities. ” Flavio Tejada Flavio Tejada Director

Flagship initiatives include the installation of rooftop photovoltaic farms and the creation of local ‘solar communities’ for shared self-consumption alongside a network of electric vehicle charging points. Estimates put aggregate electricity demand for the area, which hosts a range of data-intensive organisations, at around 450GWh/year, with around 270kWh/year estimated for heating.

"Our partnership with Repsol is a clear example of our commitment to the decarbonisation of this district, the start of a roadmap already underway with assets that meet the highest standards of sustainability and well-being for users", explains Juan Barba, president of MADBiT, noting they are ramping up the process through other strategic alliances.

Read more about approaches to district level decarbonisation strategies in our latest report with C40s.

Madbit Madbit

On the urban regeneration front, Arup envisions an integrated local mobility plan to reduce private vehicle use and improve the public realm, adopting an inclusive, green lens to free up space and redesign the local urban fabric.

To anchor MADBiT as a digital economy ecosystem and creative hub, Arup weaves the design of an intelligent network with new mobility strategies, alongside an IoT infrastructure to connect the different urban elements.

Explore our expertise in Cities and Urban regeneration.