12 Dec '12, 5pm

Monocle

At the end of Madrid’s Gran Via, the 25-storey Edificio España is a stark reminder of the tough economic times facing Spain. Once a symbol of opulence and prosperity, the neo-baroque high-rise is now boarded up. Plans to convert the building into luxury apartments have ground to a halt. With derelict edifices like these and the violent protests seen in recent months, it is no wonder that outsiders are quick to draw gloomy conclusions about the city’s economy. A walk through Madrid’s weaving labyrinth of smaller streets tells a different story. If the past decade was characterised by grandiose infrastructure projects, the city is now undergoing a different type of makeover and the sound of construction now echoes from countless new shops, bars and restaurants springing up across the inner city. Today the activity is largely grass roots. After losing their jobs and facing a ...

Full article: http://monocle.com/magazine/issues/59/starting-again/

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