City council plans to redevelop the boulevards linking the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen museums with the Cibeles fountain are causing controversy because of their possible impact on the trees in the area. Madrid regional premier, Esperanza Aguirre, claims the project to widen the boulevards and pedestrianise large sections of the zone involves removing 738 century-old trees currently lining the Paseo del Prado and the Paseo del Recoletos avenues. However the designing architects office says that only 29 trees would be removed in the Salon del Prado zone, which covers just nine hectares of the total 160 hectares to be redeveloped. Of these, ten are allegedly diseased while the remaining 19 healthy specimens would be transplanted within the area. The city councilor for urban development, Pilar Martinez, says the total number of trees affected by the project is not clear but she has hinted that around 400 trees could be up for the chop.
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