Socio-spatial impact of great urban projects in Bilbao and applicable lessons for other cities

A. Martinez-Perez (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Urban regeneration involves multiple actors and organisations. This article focuses on the post-scenario of iconic, large scale urban project within a medium sized city. The city of Bilbao gained international recognition following the building of the Guggenheim Museum by Canadian architect Frank Ghery on the Abandoibarra site. Before this iconic project was built, the city suffered from socio-political problems including high unemployment, the closure of industries such as shipyards and steelworks and the terrorism associated with the Basque separatists which affected investment in the city. This effect, now known as the "Bilbao effect", became a success story immediately with every city around the world wanting to replicate this type of intervention in brownfield industrial sites. The city's strategy was to implement large scale urban interventions with star architects and iconic buildings whilst removing and demolishing the existing industrial heritage that remained on those sites. This piece focuses in the internal contradictions of these processes, the increase in real estate values that these interventions provoked, and the process of gentrification that occurred as a result. It also analyses the issues raised by this development and looks at how they could be usefully applied to similar sites around the world.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalBitácora urbano-territorial
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    Dive into the research topics of 'Socio-spatial impact of great urban projects in Bilbao and applicable lessons for other cities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this