The Basque Country exports its sustainable cities technology
- The Basque Government showcases the URBE 2050 sustainable cities platform at the annual meeting of Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
- The case of the Basque Country was presented by the SPRI General Manager, Tomás Orbea, to an audience of approximately 300 delegates and the session was opened by the IDB Chairman, Luis Alberto Moreno
- URBE 2500 uses the Basque experience, with three internationally award-winning provincial capitals, and shares it with other cities.
The Basque Government was invited to present the sustainable urban regeneration experience in the Basque Country in recent years, as part of the Annual Meeting of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank held in Montevideo (Uruguay), A seminar was organised on sustainable and emerging cities in Latin America and the Caribbean, where Tomás Orbea, SPRI General Manager, presented the URBE 2050 platform, which aims to establish a private-public partnership platform between international and Basque companies and institutions to generate "win-win" alliances with local partners. This will enable the development of sustainable cities in Latin America, based on the experience and know-how of the Basque Country in cases of economic and urban transformation.
The Ibero-American Development Bank has funds to support sustainable urban development initiatives, such as: relieving traffic congestion by means of "park and ride" systems in Trinidad Tobago, or the management of municipal solid waste in Trujillo, or the integral recovery of the centre of the city of Santa Ana, or the installation of broadband in Goiana (Brazil) to improve the connectivity and productivity of its companies.
The Basque Government, through the SPRI, the public corporation backing and promoting the Basque company answering to the Department for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, is seeking to position the institutional and business capacity of the Basque Country, developed through clusters, institutions and new forms of public-private partnership in the development of sustainable cities. In fact, the participation in the international IBD event follows on from the Lehendakari's visit to the IDB in October 2011, and which opened up a window of opportunity in this world movement where Euskadi must play an important role to drive the exports of our cutting-edge service companies, among other results.
The Basque Country is emerging as one of the European companies that have built up an institutional and business structure that has led to the 3 Basque provincial capitals to receive international awards for their sustainable development and urban regeneration: Vitoria, European Green Capital 2012 for its protection of the environment and climate change, San Sebastián, European Capital of Culture 2106, and Bilbao, LiveCom Awards 2011 of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to create a "habitable and sustainable local community" and with the Lea Kuan Yew World City 2010 Award granted by the Swedish Nobel Academy for its urban transformation.
The seminar seeks to share experiences and reflect on the challenges in urban, fiscal and environmental sustainability of the medium-sized cities in Latin America, and it is here where the Basque Institutions yesterday (Tuesday 20 March) presented the success case of the Basque Country related to the industrial and urban regeneration and sustainable cities to 300 Latin-American mayors and authorities. Ibon ARESO, the deputy mayor of Bilbao City Council, showcased the transformation of this city, which has gone from being an industrial city with a strong metal-machining, iron and steel and ship-building industrial tradition, to becoming an international icon of a sustainable, innovative and modern city. The seminar was opened by the IDB Chairman, Luis Alberto Moreno.
During the seminar, the Basque Government, through the SPRI, has been in contact with the authorities of the cities involved in sustainable development processes, such as Bucaramanga (Colombia) and Santa Ana (El Salvador), which opens up new opportunities to our companies. A delegation of the environment cluster, ACLIMA, has also visited the Rio do Sul region and Uruguay, where it coincided with the delegation of the Basque Institutions.
These initiatives are part of the Basque Government's strategy to export our capacities and technologies related to the sustainable and emerging cities, including governance, urban development, regeneration and waste management, private-public coordination, etc.