Transforming Cities: Opportunities and Challenges of Urban Regeneration in the Basque Country
Urban renewal policies seek to reverse physical, economic, and social decline in particular areas or neighborhoods—or in whole cities. Such policies are typically associated with public sector solutions to problems in the urban decline of former industrialized spaces that involve developing new economic activities by means of transforming such spaces once more into dynamic and attractive areas. The present work explores the multiple dimensions—incorporating physical-morphological, economic, functional, cultural, and residential elements—of urban renewal policies in the Basque Country and beyond. Individual chapters discuss urban regeneration in Bilbao, the legal framework of urban planning as a public function, the “smart city” model of sustainable and intelligent urban spaces, and culture as a strategic element for the reactivation, renewal, and development of new urban models, including the specific case of cultural heritage as a factor in the urban regeneration of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the legal implications of expropriating cultural assets, public and private collaboration to create cultural clusters, and, finally, the tensions that exist between institutionally driven visions of such transformation and more community-based approaches.