The Cityre Guide, the sample of urban applications with recycled rubber that city councils were needing

What could be more logical than, if you have spent the best of your life in an environment, performing wonderfully, that someone, or something, can return to it? Even though it’s not exactly the same way, it seems like a good idea. Of course, for unused tires it is perfect.

In fact, this is what is proposed in the “Guide to applications of recycled rubber from tires in cities” prepared by Signus and presented publicly at the Cities Forum, held in Madrid.

The publication compiles the possibilities that this material offers to be used again, in a very practical way, to manufacture a series of urban equipment. And they can be useful and necessary in populations of practically any size.

The idea of ​​creating this guide responds to the “need to provide concrete answers to the many municipalities committed to the circular economy model,” explains Leticia Sainz, Director of Development and Innovation at Signus, “and from the meetings we usually hold with the administrations, we know that they have a clear interest in moving forward in this direction. But many of them asked us ‘well, how can we use recycled tires in cities?'”

In the Cityre Guide, a word created on purpose from city and tyre, which is the name of the project, there are answers for everyone: safety pavements, sports surfaces, tree pits, bollards, parking stops, Bike racks, furniture and urban ornamentation are manufactured with rubber from end-of-life tires and respond perfectly to the technical requirements they must have. They are applications that are already being used, of proven effectiveness and that respond to the necessary technical requirements in each case.

Tree pits, bollards and planters are common applications for recycled rubber.RMD

Because they are so diverse and have such different uses, “practically any municipality, large or small, can find something that suits them, that can be useful and that they really need. The idea was that it should be very visual, and that the corresponding technical specifications should appear next to each application.”

It has been a very team effort, in which “all the granulation plants we work with have participated. Because, in the end, they are the ones who establish commercial relationships with the companies that make the installations in the municipalities at the request of the town councils.

The good thing is that “among all of us, meeting in work groups, we identified what possible applications there were. And we have learned a lot, because at first we thought there were going to be three or four and, in the end, it turned out that there are many. A lot”.

Urban pavements based on recycled rubber granules mixed with aggregates and resins.
Urban pavements based on recycled rubber granules mixed with aggregates and resins.RNC

Each application incorporates the technical specifications and the components of the material (different types of granules, resins, aggregates, etc.), the advantages it provides (durability, resistance to impacts or weather, customizable, etc.) and the amount of recycled rubber it consumes. As Saiz points out, “some require little material, such as bollards or parking stops, which only need rubber from one or two tires. But, in exchange, for an athletics track, 9,000 is used. But the objective is to show that everything works, that each application contributes to absorbing a portion of recycled rubber, which has many advantages and can play a very important role in the transformation of our cities.”

And, one more thing that Leticia Saiz highlights, “the visibility given to recycled rubber brings it closer to citizens who can perceive it as just another material and that it is safe.”

Table of applications of recycled tires and the quantities required for each.
Table of applications for recycled tires and the quantities required for each one.Cityre Guide


Family photo after the opening ceremony of the 6th Cities Forum
Family photo after the opening ceremony of the 6th Cities ForumIfema

Sixth edition of the Cities Forum

CN Madrid

The Cities Forum is a meeting point for exchanging ideas, projects and visions on all the issues surrounding cities and how to make them more habitable, inclusive, participatory and resilient. In short, more sustainable. In fact, the focus this year has been on three key themes to achieve these goals: planning, circularity and urban nature.

During the three days of the event, 200 speakers, representing more than 60 Spanish, Latin American and Portuguese cities, have participated in 32 sessions, which, in various formats – round tables, laboratories, conferences, reflection groups, presentations, etc. – have addressed the main issues that make up the present and future urban challenges.

Thus, the action plans of the Urban Agendas and the SDGs for 2030; the role of European funds in financing urban development projects; urban adaptation and mitigation to climate change; the renaturalization of cities and the promotion and adaptation of green infrastructures; The process of improvement in the selective collection of urban waste under the criteria of circular economy have been the main themes of this sixth edition of the forum.

In addition, for the second time the Tree Prize was awarded to Las Rozas, Madrid, in the category of cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants, and to Zaragoza, in cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. And the jury decided to give a special mention to the Mexican city of Irapuato.

Another of this year’s activities has been the Exhibition of Good Urban Practices with the explanatory panels of the projects received and selected, and the presentation of the main conclusions of the document presented by the Working Group on Circular Economy of the Cities Forum, coordinated by the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

And it was in this context that the presentation of the “Guide to applications of recycled rubber from tyres in cities” prepared by Signus took place. It was Leticia Sainz, its Development and Innovation director, who was in charge of publicly introducing the publication of this collective work. Something that “We are very satisfied with the result obtained, which has been the fruit of collaborative work with the recycling plants who, in a generous way, have shared technical information to achieve a common goal for all, which is to make known the possible uses of recycled rubber from tyres in cities.”

Speakers at the round table in which the Cityred guide was presented at the Cities Forum
Speakers at the round table in which the Cityred guide was presented at the Cities ForumIfema