MARES is an innovative pilot project involving urban transformation through the social and solidarity economy.  It was selected among over 300 proposals in the call launched by the European Commission Urban Innovative Actions aimed at financing innovative urban solutions.  Its goals are creating decent and quality jobs and fostering a new city model.

The project is based on the idea of urban and economic resilience, that is, the ability of people and urban ecosystems to adapt to unforseen situations.  Such ability refers to the number of experiences deployed by the citizens of Madrid to face the economic crisis: self-employment initiatives, recovery of disused spaces, development of local economy and mutual aid networks.  Hence, MARES core objectives are, among others, fostering new startups, generating a productive and grassroot fabric, and promoting best civic and institutional practices aimed at turning the city into a more sustainable, healthy and collaborative space.

Deployed in four Madrid districs (VillaverdeVicalvaroPuente de Vallecas and Distrito Centro), MARES carries out its actions in 5 productive sectors related to such districs:

  • Mobility in Vallecas
  • Food in Villaverde
  • Recycling in Vicalvaro
  • Energy in Distrito Centro
  • Care, present in all 4 districs with the aim to place life support and sustainability at the heart of all concerns.

Each distric has a dedicated space for the project (MAR) that is used as a knowledge lab and houses different productive initiatives. These were disused buildings and public spaces that have been made available again to citizens.

But MARES is not only about employment and economy, it is also a project of urban transformation through the social economy.  Startups born in MARES have social and local impact, fostering a more sustainable, equitable, low-emission and inclusive city. In short, a city for all its people.