Bilbao Living Lab


The new General Plan for development in Bilbao aims at continuing the well-acclaimed momentum of regeneration which was jump started by the Guggenheim project just 20 years ago. Many of the planned actions, both in terms of health, the environment and livable communities, are concentrated on and around the newborn island of Zorrotzaurre. They claim it will be transformed “from an industrial peninsula to a creative island”.

Seeing it today, once you can set your eye beyond the big building site, you will meet a strong community of people who has fought to maintain their houses, accepted to renovate them but not to pay for it, and even occupied an abandoned warehouse to bring out communal activities. They share the island with many grassroots cultural activities, which provide the city with interesting products that probably would not have happened somewhere else.

Our students in Bilbao will spend the next few months to better understand the situation, share a chat with some of the people, maybe a beer or two in the clubs. They will then try and build something useful with the local partners of Espacio Open, be it an artistic intervention, a workshop, a research paper or any alternative. 


The main problem of Bilbao island is that its fate has never been in the hands of its citizens. The way the city looks today has been decided by the municipality, the commission of Zorrotzaurre and big property developers – none of them have a real idea how it feels to live there. As a result, the city lacks common areas where people can meet and interact such as public spaces, playgrounds, etc. There are not enough green and recreation areas too. 

The students of our training will need to find a solution to bring together a community that has been disillusioned and lost faith in urban development projects. They have to come up with a plan about what can be done to solve all of the problems mentioned above in a timely and efficient manner. 


Samiha Chemli
Alexandra Zagrebelnaia​

Universidad De Deusto

Karim Asry
Nerea Diaz​

Asociacion Cultural Open Yourkolektiboa


Nicole Arthur Cabrera
Kitti Barasci
Marta Bisquerra Prohens
Gabriel Gazzola
Rosa Diaz Escos
Marta Ezquerecocha Diez
Esther Ferrer Rizo
Ana Munoz Antuna
Xabier Najarro Echaniz
Igor Ivan Ojeda Delgado
Francesca Placanica
Guillermina Re Areosa
Juliana Rebello Ferreira
Oscar Reinoso

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