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In a groundbreaking move, Extremadura is poised to host Spain's—and potentially Europe's—first smart and sustainable city. The project's developers, Castilblanco Elysium Corporativos, in collaboration with Gensler as the master plan designer, have envisioned Elysium City.

This ambitious urban project, located in Castilblanco, Badajoz, is set to transform the region's landscape both physically and economically.

The initial phase of construction, spearheaded by the Extremadura UTE comprising Gosadex and Aglomerados La Serena, has begun with an investment of 490 million euros. José Luis Gómez, representing the UTE, affirmed that all necessary permissions are in place. Pending archaeological clearance, the construction will intensify, anticipating completion within a year.

This smart city is partitioned into three distinctive sections:

1. The Recreation Pavilion: An architectural marvel designed by the globally recognized RCR studio, which won the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2017. This pavilion is not only built over a pond but also focuses on harmonizing with nature. It is designed for leisure and gatherings, with its upper floor housing a barbecue area and a spacious room ideal for events. The lower floor comprises five individual bedrooms, each with a private bathroom.

2. The Family Home: Spread across 530 m² and three floors, the home boasts a spacious living room, a granite kitchen, and a terrace of 42 m² on the ground floor. The upper floor houses five brightly lit rooms, including an en-suite with a designer bathroom. The semi-basement level is designed for recreation, with gym facilities, party areas, and ample parking space.

3. The Gotarra Mill: This historical structure has been transformed into a 160 m² office space, maintaining its six-meter-high ceilings. It is an iconic representation of the past meeting the future.

Elysium City covers a vast area of 12 million square meters, with 8.3 million of them earmarked for urban development. The city is envisioned to have green spaces spanning 20 hectares, a hotel capacity of 18,000 places, residential zones, theme parks, docks, and a navigable coastline of 17 km, further enriched by facilities for hosting concerts.

Financially, while the urbanization works are expected to cost around 4 billion euros, the entire project represents an investment of 18 billion euros. Significantly, this endeavor is self-funded, with the promoters not seeking any external subsidies or aid.

The city's conception resonates with the global shift towards smart cities that champion sustainability and tech integration for improved quality of life. Existing examples include Singapore and New York, leading the way in innovative urban solutions.

With Elysium City, Extremadura is not just envisioning a smart city but is taking tangible steps towards building a future-ready region. As construction gears up, the world watches in anticipation, waiting to witness the rise of this Spanish marvel.

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Marisol Ferreira