Jorge García Castaño, Councillor of the Centro District and responsible for the Area of Economy and Finances, participated on Wednesday 18 April in the launch of the Energy MAR, a new space that seeks to promote a thematic hub with innovative economic initiatives in the fields of energy and care economy.
This building, located in Toledo Street, in the city centre, has a built area of 460 m2. The building has been renovated in order to rescue its former materials, provide it with full accessibility, adapt it to the needs of MARES users and achieve a reduction in energy consumption.
The Energy MAR is a new space dedicated to connecting and promoting initiatives and projects that seek to change the energetic model and that conceive energy as a common asset, promoting collective business projects that lead to a change in our city. In addition, this building also integrates the MAR for Care, a sector that maintains a presence in all MARES, and whose objective is to promote initiatives from the social and solidarity economy, that can solve unattended social needs and at the same time improve and generate quality jobs in the care sector.
The event began with the visit to the building with large press coverage and a guided tour for sectoral socioeconomic agents and potential MARES’ users.
At 16:00 p.m., the space opened its doors to all citizens, brightening up the day with a small concert, a children's workshop and an exhibition of solar cookers and ovens.
The headquarters building of this new MAR were built in 1984 by a well-known architect, Juan Navarro Baldeweg, and was currently underutilized. It has been rehabilitated based on three basic principles: care and cleanliness to rescue the material memory of the building and give it full accessibility; proper conditions for the internal infrastructure for the activities of MARES and a process of "energy acupuncture", with specific actions to save at least 20% of energy consumption.
The building has three floors and an outdoor area. On the ground floor there is the workshop-room and several work areas. The first floor hosts a co-working space where, in addition, an office has been set up. The upper floor (under the roof) is ready to host different kind of meetings in different areas separated by colored vinyl panels.
The Energy MAR is the first definitive space that has opened its doors. The remaining three MARES spaces will continue operating from provisional buildings, called "MARES in transition", in the targeted Districts (Vicálvaro, Puente de Vallecas and Villaverde) until the renovation works are finished.
This newly opened building hosts activities and workshops related to the Energy and Care sectors, while also serving as a work space for new business initiatives related to these issues, through the installation and/or incubation of business projects.
Incubation is a complete process of reception, tutelage and installation of projects, initiatives and companies of the social solidarity economy. These initiatives receive technical, legal and business advice from the “Specific Services team” in order to make them technically and economically viable, while optimizing their social and environmental impact, their innovativeness, originality, and their ability to create employment. Nearly 25 initiatives are located in the Energy MAR.
In addition to this tutelage, the incubated projects in the Energy MAR counts on a co-working space with flexible posts, secure storage spaces, access to managerial and sectorial training activities, communication support, diverse office services and possibilities of participation in numerous activities of revitalisation in the district.
Likewise, the Energy and Care MARES create, organize and develop Learning Communities in these economic sectors. Communities are spaces for research, generation, acquisition and deepening of collective practice-oriented knowledge, where interaction, participation and benchmarking are essential.
Author: the MARES de Madrid project team
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