Social Economy and Cities

Values and competitiveness
for an inclusive and sustainable
local development

October 1-3, 2018

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About Bilbao

Bilbao has recently experienced an environmental, urban and economic transformation, having the opening of the emblematic Guggenheim Museum as its starting point. Widely known for the “Bilbao Effect” the city has managed to lead technological advances and ultimate architectural design, aligning it with the traditional roots of the country.

A visit to the city´s flagship seems a requirement when you visit Bilbao. Frank Gehry´s Guggenheim oversees the river, which has not only fed the industrial past of the city but also the current necessities of the touristic and sustainable destination that has become in the present. A river walk will take you through other contemporary sites, such as Calatrava´s Bridge but also to the old quarter, with a vibrant commerce and street live fostered by its historic backdrop.

Thanks to the embracing nature of the green scenery surrounding the city, which affectionately gives its name of “botxo” (meaning small hole), Bilbao enjoys exceptional quality of local products. Indeed, The Basque Country proudly represents the place with most Michelin starred restaurants per capita in the world, being one of the best destinations for gastro-tourism.

At the same time, its industrial heritage has positioned Bilbao on the spotlight for holding many different types of international conferences, conventions and meetings. The city has all the equipment, venues and services required for events of different nature and its awards and recognitions as well as hosting experience, has established Bilbao as a great and unique meeting point.

An equal, diverse & inclusive city

On 11, 12 and 13 June Bilbao will be in the European spotlight of the EMR Conference on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This event represents an opportunity to be able to draw important conclusions to help municipalities and regions build a better, fairer, more inclusive and more human Europe.

Bilbao recently launched the Bilbao Balioen Hiria Project. The aim of this innovative European level project is to build the city from a number of parameters of excellence regarding ethical principles. The first step of this initiative has been the creation of a decalogue of values which will be used as a basis to create a Charter of Values.

Furthermore, Bilbao expects to receive the Child-Friendly City certificate, awarded by UNICEF, in November 2018. The CAI Badge of Recognition is a distinction that UNICEF grants to municipalities for the work they carry out jointly and in coordination with citizens in support of the rights of children and young people.