Research & Communication – Madrid Think Tank

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madrid think tank The Participatory Channel for Citizens to Define the Future of Madrid. MarĂ­a BelĂŠn Hermida RodrĂ­guez | madrid think tank

Madrid wants to build its future with the participation of all its citizens. A new society is emerging and its members claim ownership, while offering compromise. This emerging society demands new ways of making and managing the city. In the traditional model characterized by functional segmentation, the analysis, design and transformation of territories and cities have been monopolized by a few players, offering little room for citizen participation. This situation must change.

Innovation grows from interaction, from the overlapping of traditionally disconnected areas of knowledge and from the active mind of all citizens. 102

Madrid Think Tank Headquarters, at Madrid Official Architects Association (copyright: Jorge Crooke).

Moreover, the importance of current and future challenges requires innovative thinking. Innovation grows from interaction, from the overlapping of traditionally disconnected areas of knowledge and from the active mind of all citizens. All this is possible with the help of a catalyst willing to imagine the impossible. MADRID THINK TANK plays this role. MADRID THINK TANK is a meeting place for citizens, professionals, businesses and government to interact and define the future of Madrid in a collaborative effort. MADRID THINK TANK requests the cooperation of all citizens to define the future of their city. Through the contribution of new technologies, which offer the channel the possibility of achieving real and effective participation, Madrid will become the city desired by its citizens. In the near future there will be no competition between states, but between cities and territories. Therefore, the role that cities have to play is increasingly important. Cities are becoming the critical space for the great challenges facing humanity in this century. 103

In the near future there will be two types of cities: cities that lack a future project, which will inexorably decline, and cities with a clear and well-defined project supported by citizens, offering attractive environments that contribute to the welfare prosperity of the planet. The fundamental mission of MADRID THINK TANK is “to contribute to the construction of a collective urban project for Madrid, improving the position of the city and its territory, making places better integrated into a globalized world while offering the highest quality of life for its inhabitants.� Old think tank models bring together thinking elites in order to produce knowledge to then transfer it to the rest of society. Instead MADRID THINK TANK revolutionizes this structure since citizens themselves reflect and interact to generate that knowledge. MADRID THINK TANK thus becomes an innovative platform to channel the latent thought-oriented society in the definition of its own environment. MADRID THINK TANK addresses the understanding and intervening on reality with a highly practical and operational spirit. It proposes the decomposing, sorting and grouping

Madrid Think Tank, participation process (source: Madrid Think Tank).

of urban phenomena as belonging to one class or another, organizing specific lines of work. MADRID THINK TANK is structured around the launching of challenges and the solutions to those challenges. There are many latent problems and opportunities in the city, undetected and unresolved. In this context, the approach to these challenges constitutes the start of the participation process, leading to ideas for competitions, new innovative solutions, discussion forums, roundtables, etc. These challenges give the best diagnosis of the city as perceived by citizens. Concrete proposals arising from the process of participation and from dialogue, designed with and for society, are the foundation on which to build the new collective urban project for Madrid. Two different platforms channel citizen participation through MADRID THINK TANK: IDEASxMADRID and MTT Chair. The first, IDEASxMADRID, calls for citizen participation. This forum will cover all ages and formats from single to group initiatives aimed specifically for educational and/or professional groups. The second, the MTT Chair, acts in parallel within the academic setting. MTT Chair brings together all Madrid

Edgar González, Mercedes Díez, Manuel Leira. Madrid Think Tank Meeting Point, 13 febrero 2013 (copyright: Juan Roldán).

J.A. Granero, “Madrid, Presente y Futuro desde el planeamiento”, February 28, 2013 (copyright: Juan Roldán).

universities involved in promoting urban reflection on Madrid and its territory. All this is possible thanks to new technologies, through the open innovation platform iPARTICIPA Indra, which cover the entire process of generating ideas and the active participation of users. The first theme of MTT is MADRID 2020, focusing on 10 areas of action: 1. Madrid Global City. London, City of America. 2. Economic Activity. More Madrid / Madrid Tourism / Entrepreneurs. 3. Quality of life and participation. Madrid lives. 4. Historical and Natural Heritage. Legacy Madrid. 5. Urban Space and Landscape. Experience Madrid. 6. Sustainability and Energy Rehabilitation. ECO Madrid. 7. Mobility and Accessibility. Madrid moves. 8. Intelligent Management and Knowledge Society. Smart Madrid. 106

Madrid Think Tank, Transforming Madrid (source: Madrid Think Tank).

9. Cultural Identity. All of us are Madrid. 10. City and Sport. Olympic Madrid. MADRID THINK TANK is supported by the COAM (Official Association of Architects of Madrid), through COAM Architecture Foundation, and by the Community of Madrid, the City Council and the Federation of Municipalities of the Madrid Region, as well as by numerous professional and business organizations. MADRID THINK TANK is underway. We must all participate. Follow us on facebook and twitter.