Friday, January 18, 2019

Tuesday, Jan. 15: Visiting Madrid's public transit control center, OHL headquarters, and flamenco!

We are still in Madrid today, and were able to visit a couple of interesting facilities. Our first stop was CITRAM, the control center for all public transit in Madrid. Next was Spanish-based multinational construction and civil engineering company, Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL).
We are still in Madrid today, and were able to visit a couple of interesting facilities. Our first stop was CITRAM, the control center for all public transit in Madrid. HOW. COOL. It's amazing how much information we were able to see in one space. We learned about the development of the various kinds of public transit, the process used to get buy-in from residents, and the problem solving that goes in to designing additions to the system.

Next, we attended a presentation by professor Carmen Aviles from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Her presentation was about smart sustainable cities, and how it is possible for future cities to be successful. Most notably, she talked about how a sustainable city needs to address all aspects of sustainability including energy, water, and social concerns (among others).

When talking about smart cities she also drew an important distinction between technological advancement for the sake of advancement, and that which is motivated by a desire to improve the quality of life for the people in the city. Finally, she went on to address environmental concerns in various cites and how that would effect their particular sustainability concerns. A place like here in Madrid, for example, gets less water and has higher temperatures than many others she discussed. The start to a solution to water shortages is to move away from the idea that being “green” implies planting green plants, and instead focusing on plants which have equally good effects on the environment but take much less water.

Personally, I thought the presentation was fascinating, especially because it followed our visit to the transportation center earlier that morning, which focused on integration of transportation options in order to develop a successful and sustainable system.

After the lecture, we were off to Spanish-based multinational construction and civil engineering company, Obrascón Huarte Lain, S.A. (OHL).which is a giant sky scraper in downtown Madrid. We got to hear more about the various projects OHL is working on around the world, and visited several floors to see the amazing views of the city.

We finished our evening with a flamenco show at the Plaza del Toros. Even here, we could see various kinds of architecture from different periods. The flamenco show was a lot of fun, and we even got to learn a few moves!

Marnie A. and Jake R.


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