Industrial traditions (6) Bilbao: some lessons about its transformation


Bilbao Ria 2000, the public company established in 1992 with the presence of several administrations that has directed a substantial share of the urban transformation projects in Bilbao, invested in the city from 1997 to 2011 beyond 957 million euros (slightly above 1,3 billion US dollars), for a metro area not reaching 1 million residents. Its work has touched seven main areas: six neighbourhoods and the urban integration of a rail network that created substantial urban obstacles. These works have clearly improved the urban landscape, as well as the way Bilbao is seen abroad.
Elias Mas Serra, former Head of the Architecture Board of the Bilbao Municipality (1991-2005) published in 2011 in the Bulletin of the Spanish Geographers Association an article about the management of Bilbao Ria 2000. The article is an analysis of a set of public policies that have been successful, but that raise some questions on which to reflect to improve future interventions: the problems derived from the asynchronous production of planning documents at different scales, as well as the need to ensure coherence between local and metropolitan scales in such projects.

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