Citywide environmental strategy for emissions reduction in Madrid


Image courtesy Madrid City Council

Policy approach(es) used to catalyse investment Development of a national, regional, or sectoral InfraTech strategy; availability of a government-sponsored innovation sandbox   

Technology approach(es) used to catalyse investment: Implementation of a data platform or digital twin for greater transparency over performance; a change in data standards/architecture 

Finance approach(es) used to catalyse investment: Public investment 

Key benefits: 

  • Climate mitigation 
  • Enhanced social inclusion 
  • Improved infrastructure delivery and performance 
  • Opex efficiency 

Scale of deployment: 

3.3 million inhabitants 

Current status of the project: 


Madrid 360 low emission zones

Image courtesy Madrid City Council

The Madrid 360 Environmental Strategy was presented in September 2019 to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emitted into the atmosphere by 11.3% by 2023: a reduction of 1,563 tonnes of NOx per year. It is the most ambitious strategy that the city of Madrid has ever had, in terms of its: 

  • Content – It covers 200 initiatives across six focus areas: a sustainable Madrid, an efficient Madrid, an intelligent Madrid, a global Madrid, a healthy Madrid, and an accessible Madrid
  • Scope – It is absolutely comprehensive, including all districts and all sources of emissions
  • Execution – It involves the transformation of the city, mobility and the administration. 

Most of the measures envisioned will be implemented progressively and the necessary changes in municipal regulations will be processed concurrently.

Solutions implemented include the promotion of public transport and renovation of urban buses with the aim of promoting the sustainability of the 2,085 buses that make up the fleet. Coal-fired boilers were banned in the city, and the City Council is giving grants to help replace oil-fired boilers. Low-emission zones and two low-emission zones of special protection were implemented in the areas with the greatest pollution problems. There was expansion of the city’s public bicycle service Bicimad, and new bicycle lanes were constructed. Various aid plans (e.g. for taxis, recharging points) were introduced under the ’Cambia 360’ aid plan. 

Madrid 360 makes the fight against climate change compatible with economic development by promoting the transition to efficient air conditioning systems, the renewal of fleets, the promotion of public transport, the integration of all modes of transport, the reinforcement of road safety, and innovation. It provides an overarching strategy to drive the development and deployment of InfraTech to support Madrid’s path to climate neutrality by 2050.


The Madrid 360 Strategy is aligned with the new EU Urban Mobility Framework and with the objectives of the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. Madrid City is not aware of any replicas elsewhere. However, it is easily replicable in other municipalities, totally or partially.

Challenges experienced/overcome in implementation

A public-private partnership approach was important, and working together with all stakeholders was essential. The biggest challenge was to achieve a sustainable city that pleases the greatest number of people.

Other approaches that enabled investment

  • Approval of the Air Quality and Sustainability Ordinance in March 2021.
  • Presentation of the Roadmap to Climate Neutrality in May 2021.
  • Approval of the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance in September 2021.
  • Signing of the institutional declaration ‘Climate Neutral Cities 2030’.
  • Approval of the Sustainable Mobility Plan in July 2022. 


Note: This case study and all information within was submitted by Madrid City Council in response to our global call for InfraTech case studies.

Last Updated: 19 October 2022