efe_epaMadrid

Citizens of Madrid voted overwhelmingly in favor of expanding the city's green space and improving its pedestrian accessibility after a landmark public consultation in Spain's capital, a local government spokesperson said on Monday.

Some 212,000 eligible voters over the age of 16 responded to the consultation which, among other things, decided the future development of an iconic central square, the Plaza de España, as well as Madrid's commercial thoroughfare, Gran Vía.

The one million euro ($1.05m) consultation "was a huge success with emphatic participation," said local government spokeswoman Rita Maestre as she presented the preliminary results at a press conference.

The results showed that, of the two proposals for the Plaza de España redevelopment, the electorate opted for "Project X: Welcome mother Nature," which seeks to transform the site from a rectangular space flanked by busy roads into a circular green space at the heart of the city center.

Project X suggested the planting of hundreds of trees, new pedestrian walkways, free WiFi, a circular zone with restaurants and the capacity to stage cultural events as well as measures to reduce traffic flow by prioritizing subterranean roadways.

Similarly, voters chose to widen the sidewalks along Madrid's main street, Gran Vía_ currently a six-lane traffic artery that cuts across the downtown district of the city.

In other sections of the ballot, around 94 percent of madrileños agreed with the introduction of a single ticket for all modes of public transport while almost 90 percent concurred with the following statement: "Madrid, 100 percent sustainable?"

Around 2.7 million people were eligible to vote in the consultation which has cost the local government 1.11 million euros.