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Bilbao Urbanism Exchange

June 4, 2018 @ 09:00 - June 5, 2018 @ 18:00 BST

Event now fully booked!

The city of Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain needs little introduction. Quite simply, it is an exemplar of successful post-industrial transformation that serves as a rich source of inspiration for cities and urbanists the world over.

To mark its time as the European City of the Year, the Academy and the municipality have developed a two-day programme for urbanists to visit the city to learn about its key projects whilst contributing their own expertise to some of the city’s future challenges.

This learning exchange will be an opportunity for you to find out how through bold leadership and clever investment Bilbao emerged from economic stagnation in the 1970s to become a leader in culture and social inclusion and a city that has balanced its books since 2010.

Participants will reciprocate by offering their guidance and expertise to two key projects that are being developed by the city: the new waterfront neighbourhood of Elorrieta and the Abando high-speed rail station.

This is an exceptional opportunity to meet key influencers within the city.



Monday 4 June

  • Briefing on Bilbao’s transformation to date
  • City centre walking tour: key projects and neighbourhoods, including
  • River Nervion and waterfront regeneration
  • Integrated public transport network, including trams and Metro underground
  • Social and green infrastructure
  • The cultural warterfront including Guggenheim Museum and Abandoibarra
  • Evening meal with representatives of the City

Tuesday 5 June

  • Onsite briefing on Abando Station followed by workshop with City of Bilbao
  • Onsite briefing on Elorrieta / Punta Zorrotza followed by workshop with City of Bilbao


Places are limited to ensure the quality of the visit. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Stephen Gallagher (sg@academyofurbanism.org.uk) as soon as possible.

Cost to attend

Academicians: £70+VAT (£84.00)
Young Urbanists: £25+VAT (£30.00)

Travel / Accommodation / Meals

Participants will be expected to arrange and cover their own costs for travel. Direct flights are available from several UK and European airports.

Participants also need to budget for their own accommodation and subsistence costs. While most of the visit will be on foot, there may be small additional costs for public transport. The Academy will be able to advise on accommodation.

Please contact Stephen Gallagher (sg@academyofurbanism.org.uk) for more information.


June 4, 2018 @ 09:00 BST
June 5, 2018 @ 18:00 BST


Bilbao, Spain + Google Map