Rivas Párate a Pensar (Rivas Stop to Think)




December 2021 - May 2022

Type of experience

participatory planning consultation, vote, referendums


mobility urban planning local development civic responsibility


SDG 11 SDG 16

Rivas-Vaciamadrid City Council organised a participatory process to include citizens in the urban review of the city.


To include the residents of the city in the decisions of the city at the urban level.


All residents of Rivas-Vaciamadrid


Rivas-Vaciamadrid is a Spanish municipality and town in the Community of Madrid, located 16 km from Madrid. It has a population of 100,275 inhabitants (INE 2023). Its population grew rapidly from just 500 inhabitants in 1980 to more than 100,000 in 2023, giving rise to a sprawling settlement that is considered to be the fastest growing in Europe.


Rivas Párate a Pensar is a participatory process dedicated to reviewing the uses of public spaces and analysing the General Urban Development Plan, with the aim of defining the desired city model for the coming decades. This process is open to all citizens of Rivas, including individuals, associations, groups, territorial and sectorial bodies, observatories, forums, companies, businesses and political parties. People of all ages can participate, whether they are residents, daily workers or caregivers in the city.

The process was carried out between December 2021 and April 2022, with findings presented in May 2022. Participation took place both digitally and face-to-face in several phases, with various activities, walks, conferences and working groups. Proposals to improve or redefine the city could be made at any time during the process, with all the information available on the website.

The aim was to obtain reflections and proposals to guide the urban planning of the city in the coming decades, attending to the needs of a diverse citizenship. Urban planning proposals related to sustainable mobility, accessibility and feminist urban planning, among others, were considered.

A proposal form was set up on the website to put forward ideas on the use of public spaces, plots of land or the natural environment. Proposals could be made about mobility, transport, location of services, neighbourhood boundaries, streets, squares and parks, as well as facilities or services to improve life in the city. The use of the city by children, the elderly and people with functional diversity was taken into account, gathering all the proposals to make the city more habitable for everyone. In short, anyone could make proposals to improve the city.

All the proposals were evaluated by a technical team from the City Council, which analysed their viability, costs, legal repercussions, temporality, risks and benefits. The results of this assessment were accessible to all citizens and had a direct impact on the city's policies in the short, medium and long term.

This process is part of the Spanish Urban Agenda, approved by the Council of Ministers in February 2019. It is a strategic document that pursues sustainability in urban development policies in Spain, and seeks to implement the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, especially SDG 11, which promotes inclusive, sustainable, safe and resilient cities. The Agenda is inspired by the principle of sustainable territorial and urban development, and its strategic framework consists of a Decalogue of goals and a list of possible lines of action for each actor committed to the Agenda.

The YES has triumphed in the citizen consultation "Rivas, stop and think", organised by Rivas City Council, with the question: "Should Rivas stop its urban and population growth to define, together, a new model of urban development for the coming decades?". A total of 14,199 people participated by voting through the municipal website. The YES option received 11,640 votes (82%) while the NO option received 2,559 votes (18%). A total of 7,225 women participated in the consultation, of whom 6,048 voted YES and 1,177 voted NO. On the other hand, 5,592 men voted YES and 1,382 voted NO. This citizen consultation "Rivas, stop and think" registered the highest participation in a similar consultation in Rivas. Previously, the "Julio Pérez" Educational Commitment Awards in 2018 had 3,111 participants; the choice of the name "Gloria Fuertes" for the library involved 2,615 people; and the 2021 participatory budget had the participation of 2,359 people....


Sources of information (in Spanish)