Tag Archives: Madrid

7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free

After over a hundred years of living with cars, some cities are slowly starting to realize that the automobile doesn’t make a lot of sense in the urban context. It isn’t just the smog or the traffic deaths; in a city, cars aren’t even a convenient way to get around.

Traffic in London today moves slower than an average cyclist (or a horse-drawn carriage). Commuters in L.A. spend 90 hours a year stuck in traffic. A U.K. study found that drivers spend 106 days of their lives looking for parking spots.

Continue reading 7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free


Nigeria: Drug Mule Left to Die At Madrid Airport

A Nigerian drug mule has died in a Spanish airport after cocaine bags inside his body split open – because airport staff refused to touch him fearing he had Ebola.

The man collapsed in the customs area of the Madrid-Barajas airport outside the capital after arriving on a flight from Istanbul. Upon hearing that the man was from Nigeria, staff were too afraid to approach the man and left him in shivers on the airport floor.

The man, who had landed on a flight from Istanbul on October 18, died 90 minutes later from a massive drugs overdose, Spain’s El Mundo newspaper said. It later transpired that the man was suffering the effects of a cocaine overdose after several bags of the drug burst in his stomach. 

Reuters / Rafael Ibarra

A passenger accompanying the Nigerian later told police that he had flown from Madrid to Istanbul on October 14 and had not been to Nigeria for four years.

Ebola has killed 4,877 people in the past six weeks, almost all of whom were infected with the virus in West Africa.

Urban Yoga Dynamically Changes the Beauty of City Streets

Slovenia native Anja Humljan turns spaces like subway platforms, grocery store aisles and basketball courts into studios for reflection and balance.

She created The Urban Yoga Photo Book to help people feel connected to their environments. “As far as the poses are concerned, my aim was to connect, intertwine and mimic the urban space,” she says on her website.

The photos were shot on location in New York, Paris, Madrid and Ljubljana, Slovenia, by photographers Emilio P. Doiztua, Jaka Vinšek and Antoine Le Grand. During the photo shoot process, Humljan says bystanders’ reactions to urban yoga varied by city.

In New York, passersby treated the shoots as a “spectacle” and crowded around taking their own photos. Parisians largely ignored her. In Madrid, bystanders expressed concern for her safety and stood by watchfully.

The project already produced a magazine edition that launched at Paris Fashion Week. The next goal is to produce a hardbound book funded via a Kickstarter campaign.

By the last day of the online fundraising campaign, the initiative collected more than the $10,000 goal.  A PDF version of the book, promised to its Kickstarter supporters, is slated for release in March.

The Urban Yoga carries personal undertones for Humljan. As a former track and field star in Slovenia, she knows what it’s like to feel out of place and to find a sense of peace in the right environments.

She left athletics because her “heart wasn’t in it” to pursue art and in the process combined her talents into The Urban Yoga.

“Sometimes we feel like the urban environment limits our freedom, causes stress, and disturbs our inner peace,” she says. “But only few people know that it is not geometry and function, but what we touch, smell, taste and hear that defines most whether we feel good or bad in an urban environment.”

The Urban Yoga Kickstarter


ECO-BOULEVARDClient: Municipality of Madrid,

Date: 2004-2007

Status: Built
Program: Ecological Boulevard for a social and bioclimatically conditioned public space.
Area: 550x50m,
Scope: Design, contruction document, Energy strategy and construction follow up

The Eco-boulevard in Vallecas can be defined as an urban recycling operation consisting of the following actions: insertion of an air tree-social dynamizer over an existing urbanization area, densification of existing alignment trees and reduction and asymmetric arrangement of wheeled traffic circulation. Superficial interventions reconfiguring the existing urbanization (perforations, fillings, paint, etc.) that defaces the executed kerb development.

There are two main objectives: one of a social nature, aimed to generate activity, and one of an environmental nature, the bioclimatic adaptation of an outdoor space, achieved with a system of passive air conditioning based on chilling by evapotranspiration.

This system, commonly used in the green house industry, is capable of lowering temperature by around 10º C, depending on humidity conditions and temperature. The system goes into action when a temperature sensor detects temperatures above 27ºC in its surroundings. It is particularly efficient with high temperatures and low relative humidity (typical conditions in Madrid during the summer).

The Air Trees are objects of an exportable nature, so they may be re-installed in similar locations or in other types of situations requiring an urban activity or reactivation.

Massive Deceptive Shadow Murals

Art Graffiti Buildings

Art Graffiti Buildings

Art Graffiti Buildings

Art Graffiti Buildings

One of the most interesting art graffiti buildings found in the world is located in Spain. It is a building with graffiti created by the artist ‘SUSO33’ who designs squiggly line figures that depict shadows of people climbing the bare building wall. His use of quick gestural lines create a shadow effect that can be spotted from a distance.

This large-scale mural in Madrid resembles hundreds of his famous line figures gathering to form a large one as a visual composition. SUSO33 is known for using distinctive lines to compose his graffiti art. His work can been depicted as simple and deceptive when you view it from up close. Art graffiti buildings are very common in most parts of the world but this one can be viewed as a minimalist mural.

Cervantes experts find casket with his initials on it

Cervantes experts find casket with his initials on it: A team of archaeologists and anthropologists take notes after starting the excavation work after identifying three unrecorded and unidentified graves in the chapelís crypt of the closed order Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid's historic Barrio de las Letras, or Literary Quarter, Spain

Miguel de Cervantes experts, who are searching for author’s remains, discover casket bearing the initials “M.C.” in Madrid convent

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes have found a casket bearing the initials “M.C.” with bones inside it in a crypt underneath a cloistered convent in Madrid.

Archeologists say they made the find over the weekend during excavations to solve the centuries-old mystery of where the Spanish writer was laid to rest.

The experts said bones of at least nine other bodies were also found in the space containing the coffin.

The initials on a plank of the coffin were formed with metal tacks.

Cervantes is a towering figure in Spanish culture. His novel “The Adventures of the Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha” changed Spanish literature.

His wife, Catalina Salazar, was buried at the convent, although the location of her grave also remains a mystery.


The World’s Longest Railway Is Stalled In Madrid

China Russia Train Map

The world’s longest train route spans more than 8,000 miles, crosses through eight countries, and covers a greater distance than the diameter between the North and South pole.

The China-Europe Block Train begins in the east Chinese city of Yiwu and crosses through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, and France before reaching its destination 21-days later in the Spanish capital of Madrid.

Also called Yixinou, the route surpasses the world’s second and third longest routes, the Trans-Siberian railway (5,772 miles) and the Moscow-to-Beijing (4,340 miles) train.

Yixinou worlds longest train china spainSTR/AFP//GettyJournalists wait to take photos of the first cargo train ‘Yixinou’ from China’s Yiwu to Spanish capital Madrid on November 18, 2014.

In mid-November China launched the 82-railcar freight train from Yiwu, an important wholesale distributing hub near Shanghai, to Madrid.

The maiden convoy pulled approximately 1,400 tons and switched engines 16 times (about once every 500 miles) during the entirety of the journey, Spain’s El País reports.

And now it is sitting in Madrid, despite operators hoping the train would return to China in time for the country’s new year on February 19.

While the new train service is nearly 10 days faster than the traditional sea route, the cost is also 20-30% higher, El País reports. Another drawback of the marathon route stems from the variety of climates the cargo undergoes while in transit.

The harsh Russian winters of minus-22 degrees Fahrenheit cause serious problems for commodities like Spanish wine and jamón, increasingly popular products among China’s middle class, The Local Spain reports.

Consequently, the report adds, “thirty containers set to make the voyage to China remain empty in a Madrid warehouse.”

Yazhong Huang, the Director of Business at the Chinese Embassy in Madrid, told El País, that the European Union is currently China’s largest trading partner with Spain being China’s seventh largest partner within the EU.

 “The volume of bilateral trade in 2013 reached $24.9 billion,” Huang said.

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