Building decarbonisation in technological districts is key to developing resilient cities and regions through a place-based approach targeting net zero strategies and sustainable energy models.
Madrid's MADBIT new knowledge district is a mixed-use area where tertiary activity predominates alongside industrial use and a few residential sections.
In collaboration with the MADBIT Association, which brings together commercial asset owners, real estate investors and blue-chip corporate tenants, among others, Arup devised a renovation strategy to breathe life into this emerging technology centre, located in the north-east part of the Spanish capital.
The project aims to reimagine the Julian Camarillo area's industrial background and project it as a technological urban district at the cutting edge of the 21st century.
Spanning over 165 hectares, Arup's strategy will transform this former business park into an innovation district that will host an ecosystem of leading technology and data companies, including some of Madrid's largest data centres. The strategy sets out a roadmap for the decarbonisation of the district and the regeneration of public spaces, while promoting initiatives in the digital and creative economy.
Decarbonising a technology district
Arup’s experts designed a decarbonisation strategy based on an agreement with Repsol to create the country's largest smart platform to manage demand. The strategy will integrate renewable energy production and energy storage with distributed generation systems to meet local consumption.
The strategy includes the installation of rooftop photovoltaic parks and the creation of local ‘solar communities’ for shared self-consumption, together with a network of electric vehicle charging points. The aggregate electricity demand of the area, which is home to several data-intensive organisations, is estimated to be around 450 GWh/year, with an estimated 270 kWh/year for heating.
Innovative decarbonisation strategies such as MADBIT are a clear example of how neighbourhood-scale interventions lead the way forward for emissions reductions in cities. ” Flavio Tejada Director
Designing an integrated mobility plan
In the area of urban regeneration, Arup envisages an integrated local mobility plan to rationalise the use of private cars.
The plan aims to adopt an inclusive and ecological approach to freeing up space and redesigning the local urban fabric. Specifically, a proposal for urban regenerative design has been made, through the naturalisation of public space.
To consolidate MADBIT as a digital economy ecosystem and creative hub, Arup combines the design of a smart grid with new mobility strategies, alongside an IoT infrastructure to connect the different urban sectors.
Read more about approaches to decarbonisation strategies at district level in our latest report with C40s: Green and thriving neighbourhoods