The Madrid City Council is aware of the need to develop solutions to the climate crisis and of the role played by green infrastructure as regulators of climate, pollution and biodiversity and their benefits for the population in terms of health, leisure, recreation and food supply. To this end, the city has approved several strategies and plans (Green Infrastructure and Biodiversity Plan of the City of Madrid 2018, the Madrid + Natural Program and the Madrid 360 Strategy) that pursue urban renaturalization and configuration of a green infrastructure with nature-based solutions at different scales where small interventions are combined with large parks and natural elements present in the territory.
Under this framework, the Metropolitan Forest Project has been developed, coordinated by the Urban Development Government Area, to consolidate a 32,000 hectare forest belt in the city along 75 kilometers through the creation of new green infrastructures that interconnect existing areas acting as a tool for territorial structuring and rebalancing and generating maximum ecological and spatial connectivity. The project aims to contribute to the promotion of citizens’ health and wellbeing through the promotion of leisure and sports activities in the natural environment; to the improvement of the landscape and the enhancement of nearby consolidated and planned spaces; to the contribution to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change in the city; to the improvement of air quality; and to the enhancement of urban biodiversity.
The Local4Action HUB Madrid focuses on developing nature-based solutions to mitigate and adapt to climate change while enhancing the city’s resilience while promoting partnerships between the local government and several stakeholders of the city. It does so through the Metropolitan Forest, which aims to create a 32,000-hectare forest belt across the city, connecting existing green areas to improve ecological connectivity and urban spatial balance. The forest offers numerous benefits, including promoting public health through outdoor activities, enhancing the city’s landscapes, mitigating climate change, improving air quality, and increasing urban biodiversity.
Crucially, this initiative promotes multi-stakeholder collaboration, involving civil society organizations, neighborhood associations, experts, municipal officials, architects, landscape designers, engineers, urban planners, businesses, universities, and the public. Through this collective effort, the project leverages science, local knowledge, and urban nature data to create a sustainable and resilient urban environment. The Local4Action HUB seeks to share this model of collaboration with other governments and interested parties, emphasizing the positive environmental, social, and economic impacts of nature-based solutions.
Different UN agencies recognise the importance of incorporating nature-based solutions at the heart of local and global action to achieve the goals and targets included in all the development agendas.In this sense, Madrid Metropolitan Forest contributes to the global agendas in the following way.
Link to Agenda 2030
- SDG 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
- SDG 11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- SDG 13 – Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change)
- SDG 15 – Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
- SDG17 – Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development
Link to the Pact for the Future of Humanity
- Commitment for People
- C10 – Respect for planetary health and the well-being of future generations
- Commitments for Planet
- C4 – Empower local communities to play a central role in protecting biodiversity, water, the environment and the planet and recreate local employment
- C7 – Provide essential services accessible to all in proximities with the least amount of travel
- Commitment for Government
- C5 – Involve the scientific-community, civil society and local communities in the process of policy and decision making