Madrid Turned a Highway into a Park

Madrid made a very wise urban planning decision and buried a highway to make room for people and nature. Thanks to a lack of foresight, the Rio Manzanares was surrounded by concrete and industrial spaces that made for depressing scene. The smart people in Madrid decided to change that and make the area along the river a place for people to enjoy and bring back nature to the space.

They added more pedestrian space, bike lanes, and room for public transit. To make things even better they supported surrounding buildings in sustainable renovations to improve their carbon footprint!

Here’s a great video explaining what they did and how the project drastically improves the city:

The planning management of the project was first sub-divided into two phases due to its technical complexity and the high amount of investment required to complete the project. The two phases focused on different objectives which were:
1. Madrid Calle 30 (Phase 1) – to bury the M-30 highway, and
2. Madrid Río (Phase 2) – to treat the area surrounding the river by building parks, playgrounds, infrastructure, and other facilities.


In a project as big as this one, the objectives were met step-by-step through smaller projects that were carried out to focus on specific areas that would be affected. For example, one project would deal with the areas of Casa de Campo and Manzanares districts, while another would execute the project in areas of Palacio-Puerta del Angel districts. The planning of many focused projects such as these under one big project, displays the work breakdown structure (WBS) of the whole project as well as the divergence and convergence of the work paths that would occur in the process.

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