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The Inter-American Development Banks analyses the model to transform and regenerate the cities of the Basque Country

2012 May 28

The Inter-American Development Bank analyses the model to transform and regenerate the cities of the Basque Country

• A technical delegation of the main financial organisation of Latin America will be in the Basque Country from Monday until Friday, a visit that was discussed during the trade mission led by Lehendakari Patxi López to the United States in October.

• Last year alone, the IDB funded development projects in Latin America to the tune of over 8,300 million euros.

• It is the second visit of this bank in just one month, which opens up the way for Basque companies to be involved in business opportunities in Latin America.

From today and until Friday, the Basque Government's Department for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism will receive the visit of a delegation of the Sustainable and Emerging Cities Programme of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to analyse the model to transform and regenerate the main cities and provincial capitals that has been implemented in the Basque Country in recent years. It is the second visit of the IDB to the Basque Country in one month and opens up the way for Basque companies to be involved in business opportunities in Latin America, particularly in the initial advisory phase.The IDB is the main financial organisation of Latin America and its purpose is to foster development throughout that area. The delegation's visit is a further proof of the success of the trade mission to the USA in October, led by Lehendakari Patxi López, who signed an agreement with the IDB to mediate between the bank and Basque companies to access projects in Latin America. Last year alone, the IDB approved loans and donations to the tune of 8.385 million euros to back development projects in Latin America.

The aim of this visit of the IDB delegation is to obtain first-hand information on the proven experience of the Basque Country in the transformation and regeneration of its cities, where models such as public-public and private-public partnership have awoken the interest of entities and institutions from different countries and multilateral bodies. City regeneration is a new project set up by the IDB, which has selected seven Latin American urban areas to diagnose their situation and their problems.

The regeneration of our capitals has received great international recognition, with awards such as the LiveCom Awards 2011 (PNUMA) and the Lee Kuan Yew World City 2010 -the Nobel Prize of Cities- for Bilbao; Vitoria Gasteiz being the European Green Capital this year and Donostia San Sebastián the European Capital of Culture in 2016. Special mention thus needs to be made of the project organised by the SPRI (the Competitive Transformation Company) in the Basque Country known as URBE 50 Platform, along with Basque Country Expertise, an initiative aimed at increasing the business of the cutting-edge professional service companies abroad.

In this context, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has set up a Sustainable and Emerging Cities platform (SEC), essentially focused on medium-sized cities, considered to be best positioned to effectively plan ordered growth, adapted to the urban challenges to come and avoid the errors committed in other urban sprawls of the continent.

The cities are facing new challenges in the design and management of its public services, when must enable local governments to guarantee sustainable and sufficient levels of quality of life. This implies reducing greenhouse gas effects, energy efficiency and savings, improving the management of water and materials; providing housing for low income families, developing urban collective transport projects, promoting local economic development or creating green spaces and parks.


During these five days, the Inter-American Development Bank representatives will meet with the Basque Government's Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, and with the SPRI General Manager (Competitive Transformation Company), Tomás Orbea.. During the different meetings, they will receive information on the sustainable competitiveness policies of the Basque Country; the housing, infrastructure and mobility plans; protecting the environment and land planning in the Basque Country, the latter which comes under the remit of the Basque Government Minister for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries, Pilar Unzalu, herself.

Logically, the delegation will be received by the top representatives of Bilbao and Vitoria, and apart from visiting the three Basque provincial capitals, they will be given direct information on the European green capital in Vitoria-Gasteiz or about the transformation carried out in the capital of Bizkaia in specific experiences like the underground. Furthermore, they will hold meeting with Basque companies with experiences in sustainability projects, the Basque Energy Board (EVE) to learn about the status of the electric car project, IHOBE or URS to discuss water management and flood prevention.

The Lehendakari's visit to the IDB in October 2011 has already opened up other partnership opportunities. Thus, last March, the Basque Government through the SPRI was invited to present the urban regeneration model of the Basque provincial capitals as part of the URBE2050 project.

At the start of the month, between 7 and 11 May, another IDB delegation visited the Basque Country, for firsthand information about the tools and services that the Basque Government has got up and running to drive and consolidate the competitiveness of the business fabric.

Inter-American Development Bank

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is an international financial organisation, with equity of 136,000 million euros, which was set up to fund viable institutional, social and economic development projects and to foster regional trade integration in the area of Latin America and the Caribbean.
During 2011, the IDB granted loans and donations to the tune of 8,385 million euros to implement projects that foster development in Latin America. These projects are in four main sectors: Social policies to foster productivity, Institutions for growth and social welfare, Competitiveness and global international integration, Protecting the environment (in response to climate change, promoting renewable energies and guaranteeing food).

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  • @TCI_2012
    2012 May 31

    Comentario de Twitter:
    Talking about #cities... RT @Irekia_News: IDB analyses the model to transform & regenerate #cities of #BasqueCountry .

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