A Road Trip Through Madrid’s Bubble Challenge (by Luis Galán García & Daniel Fernández Pascual. 2010)

Building a housing block does not necessarily generate a so-called city. And it does not bring economic profits anymore. After a decade of unprecedented real estate development, Madrid starts to deal with its contemporary ruins: on one hand, more than 47,000 empty apartments wait for a first buyer (Asprima report/Dec.2009), and on the other, hundreds of kilometres of perfectly paved streets run between eerie blocks, waiting for a first construction on their sides. Like in every economic recession, the Skyscraper Index showed that Spain four highest towers (accomplished in Madrid 2008) marked the beginning of the end of a buoyant era.

Our Road Trip through Madrid’s Bubble Challenge is an on-going photo-reportage of these frozen in time areas of development. Could failed urban speculation be turning into natural reserves for the city, where migrant birds can stop in their way to Africa, and even marshes and wild flora regain their seized original location? Can they become the natural protected areas of the future?

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