How Madrid, Bilbao, and Valencia changed. How three cities reconciled with their rivers by EL ESPAÑOL

This visual article presents an analysis of how three Spanish cities, Madrid, Bilbao, and Valencia, have changed in relation to their rivers. Despite rivers always being vital for cities and their inhabitants, in recent decades, they have been neglected and used as hidden dumps beneath the asphalt. However, global warming and the climate emergency have spurred a positive change. More and more cities are designing sustainable policies and plans to rediscover the importance of rivers.

The analysis is based on data concerning water quality, marine life, and a comparison of historical photographs showcasing how their flow and surrounding housing have evolved.

In Madrid, there has been an appreciation in property value in districts near the river, generating increased interest in the area. In Bilbao, the riverside area has transitioned from being industrial to improving its river's quality and creating iconic buildings like the Guggenheim. Finally, in Valencia, the modification of the river's flow has been addressed due to the possibility of flooding in the city, resulting in the creation of a park that runs through the city.