Our aim is to transform cities towards more sustainable models and to contribute to public policies and the 2030 Agenda through collaborations (multi-actor partnerships) operating in the medium and long term.

Platform Cities is characterized by… 

  • Being demand led: the approved municipal Plan for Climate Action constitutes the roadmap and vision of the Madrid Platform Cities, giving a general framework for actions needed. It is a stable and approved public police and thus express a legal commitment of the city.
  • Being socially oriented: listening processes and collective intelligence tools to identify perceptions, barriers and enablers of change.
  • Its Portfolio approach: providing a range of options for decision-makers focused on triggers for systemic change based on solid social and technical foundations.
  • Being Multiactor/Multiproject: a space for new public-private collaboration and co-creative test bed of combined prototypes, pilots and processes.
  • Co-creation of new narratives for Climate Change communication and social engagement.

Open innovation platform approach

The main purpose of the open innovation platform way of working is to increase the impact of interventions through the creation of a collaborative methodology and co-design with citizens, in order to overcome the “expert” and “top down” approaches usually used in the social sector projects -generally presenting very limited results- and to build a genuine transformation movement that connects a multitude of public and private actions around a common vision and objectives (ESPIAU, 2017).

Platform Cities was born in 2018 on the initiative of the City Council of Madrid and the Technical University of Madrid, with the purpose of being a broad space for collaboration and co-design of solutions that contribute specifically to the public policy of the Madrid City Council on Climate Change.

The 3 working axes of Platform Cities

1. Adaptation to Climate Change

The Matadero complex -that used to be a slaughterhouse until 1996 and now is a public centre for contemporary culture- has vast spaces without plant life or shade, suffering severely during extreme temperatures and particularly during the heatwaves that are occurring more and more frequently in Madrid. In collaboration with the City Council, and including sociologists, anthropologists, geologists, botanists, engineers, designers and resident artists of the culture centre, we are using the area of Matadero-Madrid as a case study for applying nature-based solutions, providing us with an opportunity to try out adaptational solutions (which may be prototypes applicable to other spaces).

Moreover, we are launching the Mutanting Institute of Environmental Narratives: a space to promote the connection and collaboration between artistic practices and other knowledge areas -journalism, social sciences, and technological research- in order to co-create new environmental narratives, new collective imaginaries and definitely a new storytelling capable of overcoming the ontological separation between the human and the environment, and of communicating in a more imaginative way both the scope of the climate crisis and its possible solutions.

Author: Matadero Madrid

2. Mitigation of Climate Change

Collective intelligence platform CoLab.upm

With a population of 150.000 students, it is estimated that 324.000 travels are done each day to and out of Madrid’s University Campus (named Ciudad Universitaria). In collaboration with the Municipal Transport Company (EMT), we are working on the sustainable transformation of mobility to the University Campus by using a collective intelligence tool such as CoLab.upm.es, the Spanish version of MIT Climate Colab, created by MIT Center For Collective Intelligence.

Ideation process through face-to-face activities

The knowledge about mobility and public health produced by scientist working at the university not always reaches the citizens. Moreover, citizens do have a voice in the framing of urban mobility issues and in the design of possible solutions.

This is why we undertake collective ideation processes through face-to-face activities such as the first Jane’s Walk between scientists and citizens on sustainable mobility: “Vallecas, Research… to the street!

3. Monitoring of Climate Change through citizen science

Along with the the City Coucil of Madrid, we are working not only on the best possible visualization of the open data produced by the existing public network of climatic sensors.

Our goal is also to create new indicators of climate based on citizen science, like for example the observation of the migrations of birds or the plagues in plants and trees.

Author: City Council of Madrid, Plan for Air Quality and Climate Change