Around Madrid: The continuing influence of historical urban development plans on today’s periphery

Alona Martinez Perez, Stephen Walker

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This paper describes the peripheral development that has occurred in Madrid over the last 16 years (2000–2016), a period split by the economic crash that occurred in 2008. The paper argues that the relationship between economic development and infrastructure corridors witnessed in this peripheral development is intrinsically connected to the nineteenth and twentieth-century plans for urban growth. While these corridors have some similarities to the Strip model for an automobile city discussed by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown in their seminal book Learning from Las Vegas, the Madrid peripheries enjoy a long genealogy that complicates any easy link to the Strip, particularly around issues of economic speculation, typology and image-making or imagining, which will be introduced using the work of Michael Neuman and others. The research design adopted examines the treatment of the periphery in a number of historical plans, particularly their attitudes towards infrastructure and economic development, in order to establish connections between those historical plans and the city’s planned and (partially) realized peripheral development today.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Early online date19 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Madrid, peripheral development, Strip, city-plans, urban planning


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