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Bilbao today is a prime example of urban restructuring, having transitioned from an industrial city to a city of services and culture.

Discover the urban evolution of Bilbao visually and intuitively by taking a historical look at the most relevant projects undertaken in the process.


In project

Bilbao's transformation has no start and end date, but rather is an ongoing process.

Learn about the projects that will become the new landmarks to consolidate Bilbao as a leading city in urban planning and architecture.


New constructions

For some time now, Bilbao has been unveiling significant urban and architectural novelties.

This section will provide full detail of recent endeavours which are already a part of the New Bilbao.


Heritage buildings

Bilbao has taken great pains to preserve its heritage as much as possible, making renovating and preserving Bilbao's historic buildings a key aspect to combining the new architecture with that of inspired artists of yesteryear.



Modern architecture has raised twenty-first century Bilbao off the ground. As great national and international architects -many of them recipients of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize- left their mark in the form of modern works of art.The city's commitment to world-class architecture is self-evident and has been successful.




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Bilbao Ría 2000

Bilbao Ría 2000 is the public company responsible for the urban regeneration of Bilbao, and whose projects undertaken over the years have had tremendous impact in the transformation seen throughout Greater Metropolitan Bilbao. The current Chair of the Board of Directors is the Honourable Mayor Iñaki AZKUNA, Mayor of Bilbao.

In 1987, with Bilbao still suffering from the effects of the floods and the economic crisis from the decline of heavy industry, Bilbao City Hall drew up the first General Plan for Urban Zoning. This plan expressed for the first time the ample opportunities many areas of the city and surrounds had to offer then and into the future.

However, the areas discussed in the General Plan were property of Spanish Government public companies who proposed in turn to found a non-profit making entity whereby both the Spanish and Basque Governments would have an equal share of participation and responsibility. Thus, with the collaboration of all levels of government working in unison to that end, Bilbao Ría 2000 was born.

The key to understanding the success of Bilbao’s urban regeneration is financing. Although Bilbao Ría 2000’s initial capital was €1.8 million, further financing is obtained in the following manner: the shareholders (public companies) transfer the land they hold in Bilbao and Barakaldo to their respective municipalities. They in turn rezone the land, keeping certain parcels of interest to be developed, and the rest are sold off to private developers, producing huge profits, as they are in areas in the process of regeneration.

Since Bilbao Ría 2000 is a non-profit making entity, these profits are then re-invested in urban regeneration projects. As a result, the company has not resorted to public funding from its government shareholders to balance its books, although Bilbao Ría 2000 strives continuously to increase resources by procuring subsidies from the European Union, representing 14% of the total investment budget to date.

Composition/members of Bilbao Ría 2000

composicion de bilbao ria 2000

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