Madrid No Frills

Did you know that a tiny bit of the Camino de Santiago exists between two Madrid metro stations?

Following the train tracks (and veering off them every now and again) reveals the industrial past of the Jarama Valley: current and disused railway infrastructure, an old fly-tipping zone (with a warning sign in pesetas!), bunkers and abandoned agricultural buildings. Dipping into Arganda, you can also visit a tiny barrio of only casas bajas with traditional door curtains and, of course, lots of storks.

The Violence of Gentrification: a talk by Leah Pattem

Throughout November and December, I will explain with first-hand experience how and why Lavapiés has intentionally been targeted by the authorities. I take a critical view on the previously held perception that gentrification is slow, passive, and inevitable, which I firmly believe it is not.

Portrait of Madrid’s Royal Botanical Garden workers

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid turned 278 this year, and has become a living museum with over 5,500 living species. Since its founding, it's also been a centre for scientific research with a vast library of over a million flora samples which are constantly being exchanged with other research centres across the globe.

Villa de Vallekas Fiestas in photos: fried food, fairground rides and stormy nights

After the hottest summer on record, the skies are filled with constant lightning and the fiesta grounds are intermittently flooding. But nothing can stop the smoke machines pluming into the neon lights of the fairground rides, or the pounding of reggaeton while families and friends bump each other on the dodgem dance floor. Here's a snapshot of the summer fiestas in Villa de Vallekas.

The DANA disaster shows why weather warnings require trust

A DANA (a mass of high-altitude cold air mixes with warm humid air from the Mediterranean) hit Spain yesterday, affecting Madrid and Toledo the worst. Emergency services responded to around 1,500 incidents of people trapped in their cars and homes, which left two people dead and two more missing.

New study reveals Madrid has the worst Urban Heat Island Effect

Urban Heat Snapshot (UHS), a research project by Arup university, studied and compared the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) of six major cities: Cairo, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mumbai and New York. Results revealed that out of all six cities, Madrid’s UHIE was the most extreme.

Pool drama brings Madrid’s climate crisis to the surface

Pool tickets go on sale online 49 hours before doors open. Within two or three minutes, all 585 tickets to the city centre’s only public outdoor pool, Peñuelas, are gone. Over the past few weeks, a conspiracy theory grew that a few people were monopolising tickets, booking them quickly and then selling them off to their friends. The theory appeared partly true when a 400-strong neighbourhood WhatsApp group called ‘Peñuelas pool’ hit the headlines, with members being called a “mafia of families”.

Madrid’s climate inequality: temperature readings reveal 15-degree difference between rich and poor barrios

A group of local activists launched the citizens’ initiative #termometrada on Saturday with the aim of regularly reading temperatures in 169 locations around Madrid. Measurements will be taken at various times of the day: at sunrise, two hours after sunset, and at 5pm, when heat peaks across the city. Readings are taken electronically, at head-height and in the shade. After several minutes, the reading will settle and can be recorded.