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Cities and regions



in urBAn The experience that Bilbao has

acquired in its impressive urban
solutions transformation means it can export
solutions that may help to develop
liveable, sustainable, dynamic
cities with a good quality of life

We are all aware of the increasingly important role that cities play in the global Innovation
economy and of the strategic importance of so-called urban solutions as a future The transformation of Bilbao, which is now an
economic sector. Never before in the history of humanity are cities growing and international benchmark, has been possible thanks to the
changing as much as they are at the start of the 21st century. impetus and leadership provided by public institutions,
but to a large extent, it has been thanks to the effort,
50% of the population of the world has moved to cities, and in the next few decades innovation and technical quality of professionals and
it is estimated that 80% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. As a result, companies that work in Bilbao and in the Basque Country.
cities are becoming critical spaces for social cohesion, and to a large extent are The urban revolution that it has experienced has been
responsible for sustainability and the fght against climate change. possible because we had an industrial fabric in the region
that has provided the technology and capacity for this.
Over time, Europe has been able to develop some of the most humane attractive cities
in the world, and Bilbao is a clear example of a European city that has reinvented its It has been carried out with Basque companies that
economic model and has carried out an extraordinary urban transformation. specialise in clean energies, mobility, engineering,
sewage treatment, rubbish, etc., that is, companies
It has gone from being a post-industrial city to a vibrant metropolis: an internationally in the sectors of eco-technology and urban solutions
acknowledged reinvention with a long series of awards such as the frst Lee Kuan Yew and advanced services for industry, sectors that in this
World Cities Prize in Singapore, possibly the most prestigious international prize to be unstoppable world of cities are becoming strategic
awarded for urban excellence. sectors for the economic future of the territory.
Competitive We are convinced that the international dimension that
The enormous effort made in the last 25 years has resulted in a highly positive Bilbao has acquired with its urban transformation is
experience for Bilbao and its region as far as economic growth is concerned. GDP going to help to ensure that the companies that have
per capita in the Basque Country, based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), amounts helped to reinvent the city will have greater opportunities
to around 130% of the European Union average, and its regional level of human in this global market and in this world of urban growth.
development is comparable to that of the most advanced countries. Companies in high value-added sectors, that are a
benchmark for knowledge, excellence, innovation and
The Basque Country is one of the most competitive and productive economies technology, with the capacity to export solutions to other
in Europe, and has evolved from being a traditional industrial economy to a new cities and regions, may help to develop a world of liveable,
economy with industry and advanced services, with a high level of R+D+I. A quarter sustainable, dynamic cities with a good quality of life.
of the wealth of the Basque economy comes directly from industrial activity, together
with a signifcant supply of services for companies that produce 27% of Bilbao’s GDP. By Iñaki Azkuna, Mayor of Bilbao

The economic capital of the Basque Country provides a top-quality environment
for an advanced economy. It has frst-rate competitive physical and technological
infrastructures, a strategic location on the so-called “Atlantic axis” of the European
Union and an effcient connectivity network, an excellent quality of life for living,
working and visiting; legal security, a tax system of its own and fne rigorous and
transparent public governance.

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