This paper studies a particularly significant example the dynamics of urban transformation in Madrid’s city center from the mid-1980s forward. It offers a case study of what happens when, as David Harvey has opined, modernist urban planning cedes to postmodern urban design.
The new urban plan for Madrid, completed in 1985, was a template for other planning documents done in Spain. The hall mark of the plan was to guarantee the right to the city for all residents and undo the destructive effects of the growth based plan of the 1960s. One of its most important components was a thoroughgoing renovation of the center of Madrid that area most affected by the deleterious effects of the 1960s plan.
The consequences of this planning decision for life in the city center of Madrid were enormous. A study of the process that led to them offers a significant example of the dynamics of the urban process. It reveals how a good decision, motivated by a rational desire to improve the nature of the decaying urban fabric of the center of the city and which had a number of positive effects on it, could lead to the unintended deleterious consequence.
|Keywords:||Spain, Urban Planning, Gentrification, Critical Geography|
Professor of Spanish and Head of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Spanish and Portuguese, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA