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Madrid makes you feel at home
2010. 8 March
For the first time in the history of Universal Exhibitions, a select group of
cities has been chosen to take part.
In World Expo 2010 Shanghai, quality of life is the central theme. Madrid, as
the third leading European metropolis, capital of southern Europe, and center of
economic, political and cultural power in Spain and Latin America, has been
chosen to have its own
In World Expo 2010 Shanghai, quality of life is the central theme. Madrid, as the third leading European metropolis, capital of southern Europe, and center of economic, political and cultural power in Spain and Latin America, has been chosen to have its ownpavilion. The reason: the urban transformation it has undergone has been classified as exemplary by bodies such as the Expo 2010 Selection Committee. It is a best-practices model that can be copied and exported.
In addition, Madrid's international positioning is well known. It is evident
in studies on the quality of its infrastructures and users' experience: and
therefore it's time to show the world all the good things that Madrid has to
One city, 2 structures
Madrid is the only city in Expo 2010 Shanghai to have a pavilion made up of
two existing buildings, the Bamboo House - a replica of a state-subsidized
housing - and the Air Tree - a replica of the bioclimatic trees that make up the
Eco-Boulevard, a public area.
Both are examples of urban ecology, since both were created taking into
account the environment and improvement in the quality of life of their users.
And both have received premier awards from the world of architecture (the Bamboo
House won the RIBA award and the bioclimatic trees the award from the
Architectural Review magazine).
Moreover, both are examples of accessible urban and human sustainability that
don't need excessively complex or expensive technology to be effective,
efficient and functional (the Bamboo House's "skin" provides heat insulation and
soundproofs the flats, thereby saving on electricity).
Furthermore, both structures are real examples already lived in and
experienced by their inhabitants, and that is what Madrid wants to take to
Shanghai, something that has already been carried out, something done in the
present to improve the future.
Both are examples of the city's recent transformation, which can serve as a
reference to other cities which, like Madrid, are working toward achieving the
Expo ideal: "Better City, Better Life."
Madrid your home
Madrid isn't complete without life in its streets, life in its public spaces.
The Bamboo House and the Air Tree together are like a house and the square
beside it or the garden through which people stroll. They transmit this part of
life in the city, this balance between life inside the home, during people's
free time, and life outside, when they are working or out and about with
Historically, Madrid has been the Main Square of the Latin American world,
and being the only Latin American city to have its own pavilion, the space
around the Air Tree just like any square in Madrid, will be a meeting place and
point of coexistence of different countries and cultures.
Madrid's claim in World Expo Shanghai is "Madrid is your home," making
reference to this sense of home making, that the city clearly exudes.
Much on offer
On the one hand, Madrid has previously had to face the effects of accelerated
urban development, a global economy that demanded a high degree of
specialization and, it has seen the AEC (architecture, engineering and
construction) sector grow and develop.
All of this has had repercussions on the city model Madrid has constructed
for itself, and it is an easily exportable model, which has already shown its
ability to take on these challenges. Madrid is an economically dynamic place in
business sectors that are important for China.
On the other hand, China is experiencing some of the effects of the rapid
urban development processes itself, including a growing fleet of vehicles, which
brings with it congestion, infra-capacity of the infrastructures and urban
services, and environmental challenges.
In this context, China is demanding technical experience in AEC that includes
all-round urban solutions and the ability to carry them out. One of Madrid's
strengths is no doubt the fact that it is the venue of research centers and top
companies in renewable energy, engineering and construction worldwide.
Some of the most spectacular advances in renewable energy have originated in
Madrid. This city is technologically the birthplace of wind power and solar
Consequently, what is being presented by Madrid in Expo 2010 is an example of
a transformed city run under a public management model. It takes the form of a
block of flats and a public space (the minimum unit in a city), applying
sustainable architecture criteria and incorporating renewable energy criteria in
the architecture. And more important, it is a management model to export.
World Expo Shanghai doesn't end with the closing ceremony on October 31.
Shanghai 2010 is the platform, but afterwards Madrid will continue working on
maintaining the relations established with China and the world.
That's why, at the end of this experience, the Bamboo House and the Air Tree
will remain in Shanghai as part of Madrid's legacy. It's a way of showing the
city's interest in establishing long-lasting relations with Shanghai and with
You can only love what you know and Madrid wants to be known through all its
agents: institutions, companies, citizens. The Foundation Madrid Ciudad Global
2010, under the supervision of the City of Madrid Mayor's Office, is in charge
of managing the facilities and contents of the Madrid Pavilion in Shanghai 2010,
and organizing artistic, cultural and scientific activities to internationally
promote and broadcast the image of Madrid.
To give you just a taste of all things to come, eight weeks prior to the beginning of World Expo 2010 Shanghai on May 1, Madrid will open an exhibition at the Expo Shanghai Exhibition Center, from March 8-14. You are all are invited to go and see why Madrid is your home.english.eastday.com