The best present that the property bubble has given to us are the wastelands.

  • Wasteland in Spanish is “Des-campado”:A country or “campo” that is not countryland anymore . A piece of countryland before becoming part of the city. An space saved from (or isolated from) urban speculation..and urban orchards…and of self managed plot, in short, from any regulated use.

The wasteland was the classic icon of landscaping and urbanism of the last ninety years. Is the protagonist of one of the tipical poems recited by snobs. My granspartents celebrated their wedding feast in a wasteland in 1945.

C´mon, let´s remember old times. How exciting was to play in the typical Madrid wasteland in the outskirts, at least it was unexpected. Mountain bike circuits or BH, places to play seek and hide, to explore the faune, from small lizards to lady bugs to praying mantin-, to play “chapas”, to play football without goalposts, to smoke the first cigarettes, to throw rocks…

Years later, during the beginning of the new century, the property bubble started building in a rush the new city. During that continuos production of blocs of flats, there was almost no time to build public services or communal spaces (parks, schools, medical centers, etc)… so a handful of square meters of countryland were enclosed between buildings and roads, descontextualized of its rural environment. What used to be countryside became an empty vaccuum. Neither countryland nor city, a vaccuum. A vaccuum…full of possibilites, an space free from the reach of the architect or the urbanist! A free space to do whatever you want. During the last years, thanks to the property bubble the wastelands have returned again in full force.


There are many wastelands, of every kind:

Some of them have become an antiquity in the neighborhood and end up becoming parkings. It  is a very common use, such as the one of La Elipa, next to our Shed:

Others are a sanctuary for small lizard -and a diverse fauna – and they even are part of a tipical Madrid view, to popularize what is called now “Marca Madrid”:


Also they hold a great variety of plants, descampaos tend to be very fertile:

We can also find abandoned houses, if we pay enough attention:

Others show the way to unexplored places:

Others are places for love and intimacy:

Or even for thel Art:

This way, the wealth is infiinte in those places (Empty lands full of wealth!). What a good time we had playing in the periphery of the cities during the “todenta” (80´s-90´s) .  And the fact is that wastelands have always been there and will always be there in the kingdom of construction. There where a bar is, Spain will be. And if you pay enough attention, very probably there is a wasteland around the corner.


Can you imagine meeting in a wasteland to eat with your whole neighborhood? And in the same cloth?

Join us on September, Friday 13 , at 19h, in Rivas, a paradise of the descampaos (it would be the descampaos capital of Madrid if it wouldn´t have serious competitors in the capital, such as Parla, Pinto, Valdemoro, Arroyomolinos, Paracuellos del Jarama, and almost any municipality of the region).

We will gather to celebrate together the end of the bubble, the dawn, Rivas, the less consumer version of leisure, the landscape, going out to the street, sharing lunch, the popular celebrations, etc. You can even get bored if you want. Long life todescamapaos.


You may also like