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    1. Vitoria-Gasteiz. Reasons for the 2012 European Green Capital award                 3
      1.1    A historically always well planned city                                      3
      1.2    Commitment for biodiversity. The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz               4
      1.3    A water responsible management                                               5
      1.4    Sustainable mobility and recovery of the public space                        6
      1.5    Waste as a resource                                                          7
      1.6    Fighting against climate change                                              8
      1.7    A housing policy for citizens                                                9
      1.8    Heritage rehabilitation                                                      9
      1.9    Social Sustainability: integration and protection for all                   10
      1.10   An economy respectful with the environment                                  11
      1.11   The political consensus, a key factor of the process                        13

    2. The unforgettable “Green” year                                                    14
      2.1    The great events of 2012                                                    15
      2.2    New projects and dreams                                                     15
      2.3    A program for all                                                           15
      2.4    Vitoria-Gasteiz, as international Green reference                           17

    3. Five years as European Green Capital                                              18
      3.1    A bet for a Green Urban Infrastructure                                      18
      3.2    Recycling the city: extension and reform of the Europe Congress Centre      18
      3.3    Advancing in sustainable mobility: a boost to the network of cycles
             lanes and to superblocks                                                    19
      3.4    The AMVISA´s “Plan Futura” for water                                        20
      3.5    Launching the agri-food strategy                                            21
      3.6    Towards a new municipal energy model: saving, efficiency and renewable      23
      3.7    Participation in new initiatives and European programs                      24
      3.8    For a sustainable tourism                                                   24
      3.9    Vocation for the citizen and public welfare                                 25

    4. Challenges and goals for the European Green Capital +10                           27
      4.1    Challenges and threads in a complex future                                  27
      4.2    Vitoria-Gasteiz 2022 Urban Agenda. A renewed hope                           27
      4.3    Towards a bio-regional model: city and territory hand by hand               28
      4.4    Building a better city                                                      29
      4.5    Carbon neutral city in 2050, more energy efficiency and self-sufficiency    31
      4.6    Improving biodiversity, landscape and ecosystem services                    33
      4.7    Towards a circular economy of the resources                                 34
      4.8    Intelligence and knowledge for a better life in the city                    35
      4.9    Boosting green economy as the principal competitive advantage of the city   36
      4.10   New answers for new social needs                                            37

Reasons for the 2012
                     European Green Capital award

1.1. A historically always                                One the most remarkable features of
     well planned city                                    the city urban development is the
                                                          neoclassic monumental complex
From its origin as a foundation villa                     designed by the local architect Justo
in 1181, Vitoria-Gasteiz has always                       Antonio Olaguibel. Olaguibel managed
grown under some kind of planning,                        to masterfully save the existing slope
which has allowed undertaking, in a well-                 between the medieval city up in the
planned way, its different growth stages,                 hill and the plain that the new city was
from the primitive village, crowning a                    going to occupy in its growth. By means
hill, up to the city that we know today.                  of different platforms, he was able to
Any teacher might explain its urbanism                    absorb the existing gap, creating some
history by revising the different                         interesting public spaces connected
exemplary pieces that have been                           through stairs and ramps until reaching
modelling the city: from the medieval                     the Plaza Nueva where the New Town
almond up to the new extensions,                          Hall was going to be built. It is surprising
going through the nineteenth-century                      that just a local and practically new
urban expansion, the garden city, the                     architect, was capable of designing such
rationalist city, etc. But, undoubtedly,                  a formal quality project.

View of the Medieval Town and the expansion of the city

Another key moment in the urban his-          The second great urban leap forward
    tory of Vitoria-Gasteiz was the strong        made by the city in the last ten years was
    population jump that it suffered in the       the creation of two large urban develop-
    50s and 60s of the last century. The city     ments, to the east and west, “Salburua”
    multiplied its population for four in         and “Zabalgana”, designed with a view to
    only ten years and it did it in a planned
                                                  accommodate up to the 30% of the pres-
    way, fighting against slumming and dis-
                                                  ent population. These neighbourhoods
    crimination, arranging industrial states
                                                  were developed by means of an inter-
    and creating big sports complexes in the
    north and south city areas. Under the Ur-     esting public-private collaboration
    ban Law of 1956 it managed to maintain        formula, through the Salburua and
    a public leadership, avoiding to a great      Zabalgana Agreement, which arranges
    extent the speculation that so hard dam-      new land utilizations and uses, accelerat-
    aged other cities in the Spanish state.       ing some intense public housing policies.

    Outline of the Vitoria-Gasteiz´s Green Belt

    1.2. Commitment for                           and were acting like an ecotone system
         biodiversity. The Green Belt             with the rest of the territory.
         of Vitoria-Gasteiz                       The development, during more than two
                                                  decades and thanks to all mayors taking
    At the end of the 80´s, at the hands of       up the torch, of this initial approach has
    former Mayor José Ángel Cuerda and as         allowed designing what today is widely
    a courageous bet, the Environmental           recognized as the Green Belt of Vitoria-
    Studies Centre of Vitoria-Gasteiz             Gasteiz, a natural continuum, result
    (CEA) starts working at the possibility of    of an ambitious project to restore and
    connecting a series of green suburban         recover the environmental and social
    spaces, more or less degraded, that, in       values of the suburban areas of the
    some way, were framing the urban area         city.

The purpose of this initiative was          scape and public use. In this regard, the
basically focused to solving some of        municipality is currently working at the
the problems that had arisen in urban       present legislature on various projects
edges, where high interest natural areas,   to achieve it.
submitted to many kinds of aggressions,
were coexisting with other degraded         1.3. A water responsible
and marginal areas, result of urban and          management
industrial expansion.

Hereby, the Green Belt has always played    Vanagement     of   the     water   has
a key role in nature-city integration,      undoubtedly been critical to understand
balancing the offer of green spaces         many of the good practices developed in
among all the neighbourhoods and            the city and which made Vitoria-Gasteiz
encouraging connection between the          deserve the European award. Fight
green urban spaces, the agricultural        against floods is on the basis of the
environment and the natural border          Green Belt concept, that we could also
that delimits the Municipality.             denominate, a Blue Belt.

The extraordinary increase of plant         The recovery of Salburua’s wetlands
and animal biodiversity within the          and the conditioning of the linear park
parks and corridors incorporated into       of the river Zadorra in the Green Belt,
the Belt, together with suburban city       together with the actions of derivation
landscape improvement, have enhanced        of the southern rivers, have been in-
the development of new activities           tended to prevent flooding and to reg-
related to leisure and recreation, as       ulate, in a natural way, water avenues
well as to environmental education          often provoking serious damages in the
and awareness; activities that have         northern industrial areas. It is remark-
meant an important impetus for the          able the case of Salburua’s wetland
environmental local companies and the       that in only five years changed from
socio-labor insertion of certain social     being an agricultural land to become
groups.                                     a RAMSAR Wetland of International
                                            Importance. Today it hosts hundreds
On the other hand, the utilization of the   of flora and fauna species, with some
wetlands and other Green Belt wet areas     endangered species like the European
as extensive surfaces of water lamination
in rainy periods, designed under criteria
of hydraulic engineering, has allowed to
                                            Combined with the above, it is also worth
solve important flooding problems
                                            noting the reduction and efficiency
in industrial areas, avoiding enormous
                                            policies in water consumption driven
economic losses, which makes another
                                            by Municipal Water of Vitoria-Gasteiz
prime example of the added value that
                                            S.A. (AMVISA), implemented during
this project has had for the city.
                                            these last years within the so-called
Nevertheless, there is still work to do.    Plan Futura 2009-2012. They have
The Green Belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz needs     managed not only to raise citizen’s
to incorporate new spaces, especially       awareness in the responsibility in the
to the east and the south of the city,      consumption of water, but they have
which will reinforce its continuity and     also prevented network water leakage,
ecological connectivity, at the same time   thanks to an efficient maintenance pro-
that they can recover biodiversity, land-   gram...

Salburua’s wetland

    1.4. Sustainable mobility                       way of citizenship displacement. Under a
         and recovery                               shared motto, “I get on”, and the active
                                                    participation of thousands of citizens,
         of the public space                        Vitoria-Gasteiz changed completely its
                                                    bus urban transport, moving from a
    Among the different aspects to be               radial system to a network system,
    developed, in order to construct a              with more interconnected lines. Added
    sustainable city, mobility was probably one     to this, the first 2 tramway lines
    of the last questions deeply approached         were implemented and the Cycling
    by Vitoria-Gasteiz. Its urban compact           Director Plan was developed, together
    development allowed for many years              with the gradual recovery of the public
    that the percentage of displacements by         space based on a superblock system
    foot should largely exceed that of other        deployment.
    similar size cities: over 50% of the total
    trips. However, meanwhile, the use of           The results have been spectacular;
    public transport was very low and the use       the use of bicycles have passed from
    of bicycles was just of a testimonial nature,   barely accounting a 1% of the modal
    the increase in the use of private vehicles     split of transport, at the beginning of
    as mean of displacement was constant            the century, to presently overcome 12%,
    and cars were increasingly gaining space        a real cycling emergence in the city,
    in public areas.                                which has enabled Vitoria-Gasteiz to be
                                                    one of the few European cities in which
    In 2007, after a long participative             the use of the private car is increasingly
    process managed through a Citizen´s             diminishing. There have been also users’
    Forum for Sustainable Mobility, the             records of public transport, both buses
    Sustainable Mobility and Public Space           and tramway, and the level of foot
    Plan became operational and, in only            displacements has meanwhile been
    10 years, it led to a radical change in the     maintained.

But, undoubtedly, the great change           which, not only sustainable mobility but
brought out by this Sustainable Mobility     also green infrastructure criteria have
Plan is the transformation and recovery      been applied.
of the public space for citizens. The high
                                             Another way of getting around which has
percentage of pedestrian streets has
                                             led to another way of making the city.
been strengthened by the transformation      During the next months a revision of
of many high traffic roads formerly          this Sustainable Mobility and Public
occupied by cars and now turned into         Space Plan is going to be undertaken,
citizen use and enjoyment areas. One         in order to face new challenges like:
of the most outstanding examples is the      work mobility, conviviality among
transformation of the Gasteiz Avenue, in     transport means or road safety.

Sustainable mobility in the Gasteiz Avenue

1.5. Waste as a resource                     Historical Territory of Alava. We could
                                             highlight among them: the pneumatic
In terms of waste management, Vitoria-       collection systems for household waste,
Gasteiz has also been a well-planned city    the Jundiz’s mechanical - biological
for many years. To the first actions and     treatment plant, the construction and
sectorial projects of the 80s and 90s, it    demolition waste recovery plant or the
followed “The 2000-2006 Integral Plan of     “garbigunes” network (clean points),
Local Waste Management”, document            while also promoting the remodelling
establishing the bases for an advanced       and extension of Gardelegi’s landfill.
waste treatment, which firmly called
for prevention and recycling.                Such proceedings placed our city at the
                                             top of the rest of the Spanish province
To this purpose, this Plan launched the      capitals as regards as a well-planned
main waste collection and treatment          management of the so called solid
infrastructures for the city and the whole   urban residues.

In parallel, the waste water treatment       At present, the City Council is collaborating
    plant, one of the first modern facilities    with the Provincial Council of Alava in the
    in the country, was fulfilling with a        draft of the new “Plan of prevention
    good note its function of returning          and management of Araba-Alava
    the city sewerage network waters to          Urban Waste (2017-2030)”, a firm intent
    the river Zadorra; service that, after       to reduce waste generation and a new
    several remodelling and technological        source for strengthen reutilization and
    improvements, continues fulfilling with
    full reliability guarantee.                  With this new Plan, a new era for the
                                                 city waste management is going to be
    For more than ten years now, the city
                                                 inaugurated; a period in which circular
    has been implementing “the 2008-2016         economy is going to be the reference
    Integral Plan of Local Waste Management”,    and the backbone in all public policies,
    document nowadays being revised, and         maximizing, thus, environmental and
    that has succeeded, during its term,         economic benefits that result from
    in setting up ambitious and new goals        considering waste as a resource.
    as for prevention, reutilization and
    recycling, since it has taken into account   1.6. Fighting against
    not only environmental variables, but             climate change
    also social and economic aspects related
    to waste management.                         Vitoria-Gasteiz has designed its strategy
                                                 to fight against climate change with the

    Salburua’s Park

horizon in the year 2020: The 2010-          right for a house. To do this, the City
2020 Plan of Fight Against Climate           Council led a singular process of public
Change. This document, in line with          - private conciliation that crystallized
the European strategies mentioned            in the approval of a new city’s General
in the Covenant of Mayors, aims to           Urban Plan, the signing of the Salburua
reduce at least 20% the CO2 emissions        and Zabalganas´ Agreement and
of the municipality (with respect to         the launching of the public municipal
2006) and, in the case of the buildings      society “Ensanche 21”. All this fostered
and municipal services, to come at           the implementation of new residential
least to 30%. After a detailed sectorial     areas, in which more than 70% of the
analysis of the origin of emissions, the     housings has some type of public
Plan proposes different measures to be       protection.
taken in every field, so as to reach the
targets established by Europe. It will       1.8. Heritage rehabilitation
pay particular attention to municipal
sectors and concretely to transport,         Vitoria is lucky to count with more than
public facilities and services, the          eight centuries of history and to have
management of water and waste and            preserved to the present day great part
the residential park.                        of its architectural legacy, especially in
                                             its Historical Quarter in which, besides
With this aim, the city has made a           its medieval layout, masterpieces of
firm bet on the promotion of public          the gothic, renaissance, baroque and
transport and active mobility, a major       neoclassical styles coexist. In 1997, the
efficiency in municipal buildings, the       Basque Government officially declared
improvement of the hydrological and          it as a Monumental Site.
waste cycles and the promotion of the
rehabilitation of the existing housing       However, its physical configuration and
stock. In addition, it plans an important    the bad quality of many of its buildings
increase in the generation of renewable      gave birth to a process of abandon that,
energy, the carbon sink function of          at the beginning of 80s, the Council tried
the municipal forests and urban parks,       to stop. With this aim, it launched the
without forgetting the key task of raising   Department of the Historical Centre,
citizens’ awareness to achieve this          that later would become the Agency
model change.                                for the Revitalization of the Historical
                                             Centre (ARICH).
1.7. A housing policy
     for citizens                            One of the most decisive actions was
                                             the drafting of the Special Plan of
During the strong growth of the city         Integral Rehabilitation (PERI) that
in the 50s and 60s, big efforts were         outlined the principal matters to
made to fight against slums and create       carry out in this rehabilitation process
housing for all people coming from other     and that presented a series of uses,
places that arrived to the city, through     facilities and an exhaustive catalogue
cooperatives and public housing.             of the built-up heritage.

Years later, at the beginning of the 21st    The major milestone of this rehabilita-
century, Vitoria had to make another         tion process is the restoration of the
great effort to give response to the         Santa Maria Cathedral. Under the slo-
unsatisfied housing demand of the            gan “Open for Works“, it has carried out
descendants of those who came to the         an innovative process opened to citizens.
city and who could not exercise their        This methodology, which lets neighbours

and visitors participate of the complex      municipality has been and continues being
     temple restoration process, has sup-         social protection and neighbours and
     posed a magnificent example from the         residents’ care.
     technical point of view and, what is more,
     it has been a catalyst for tourism. It was   The dedication of resources of all
     awarded with the prestigious “Europa         kinds (human, economic, technical,
     Nostra” prize in 2002.                       organizational …) that, from the advent of
                                                  democracy, public municipal and regional
     1.9. Social Sustainability:                  institutions have destined to the needs of
          integration and                         the Vitoria and the rest of Alava citizens,
          protection for all                      have placed the Historical Territory of
                                                  Alava and its capital Vitoria-Gasteiz in
     The same as environment policies,            the spearhead of the Spanish social
     other of the reference policies in the       policies. The former Mayor José Ángel

     The Catedral of Santa Maria

     Cuerda, promoter of this city model, was     This way, Vitoria-Gasteiz has been
     undoubtedly a precursor.                     articulating its social labor around a
                                                  series of programs that, sequentially,
     This situation has not been a consequence    have     been     approaching      those
     of a voluntary exercise, but the response    questions demanding a major urgency.
                                                  At the same time, it has constructed a
     to a well-planned process, projected in
                                                  solid base to support new instruments
     time, and to a suitable utilization of the   and citizen care services being created.
     resources available at each moment.          Under these premises, the denominated

Base Social Services, organizational                      up of professionals specialized in gender
units located in the City Civic Centres,                  violence victims’ assistance and their
emerge as the first access point to the                   dependants.
Social Services System.
                                                          Nevertheless, and in spite of the ef-
The current roadmap in social matters                     forts made from the institutions and
is detailed in the 2015-2019 Municipal                    other municipal groups, protection of
Strategic Plan, which incorporates                        the most disadvantaged continues de-
such programs as “Gizarteratu”, (socio-                   manding a special attention when seek-
labour insertion) or “Prologo”, orientated                ing to identify new needs and groups at
to parents and mothers´s competences                      risk of social exclusion, which requires
endowment, in order to compensate                         maintaining a vigilant and proactive at-
those possible deficits within the family                 titude, as well as a public commitment
environment.                                              over budgetary adjustments or other
Other resources and actions are destined                  limitations.
to the care of elderly, like socio-
cultural centres, the sheltered housing                   1.10. An economy respectful
network or the family assistance in the                         with the environment.
apartments for the elderly. To these
services, other programs have been                        In the second half of the 20th century,
added, such as the street educational                     two relevant facts generated a deep and
programs, the emotions workshops for                      radical transformation in the economic
children, the social emergency aids,                      activity of Vitoria-Gasteiz, which till then
the plan of fighting against energy                       was mainly characterized for the great
poverty or the “Onarpen” team, made                       weighting of the primary sector.

Sports premises in one of the civic centres of the city

On one hand, the industrialization in                        Nowadays, the economic activity in
     the 50s, which turned Vitoria–Gasteiz                        Vitoria-Gasteiz, -with the exception of
     into the great economic growth pole of                       hospitality business, financial companies
     the Historical Territory of Alava, bringing                  and the small local trade-, is located
     together most of its economic activity.                      almost totally in the outer city area,
     On the other, to become the capital of                       around a series of industrial estates that
     the Basque Autonomous Community,                             present an important diversification
     in 1980, which involved an out-standing                      as regards as production sectors. This
     increase of the tertiary sector, setting up                  dense economic activity fabric allows
                                                                  that over 80% of the active population
     a new city, orientated basically to two
                                                                  of Vitoria-Gasteiz can develop their work
     activity sectors: industry and services.
                                                                  within the own municipal area, with the
     And this trend has continued to the                          remarkable advantages that proximity
     present day, with a still major leading role                 employment implies.
     in industrial activity, only rather altered                  At the same time, it should be noted that
     during big economic crisis periods. Proof                    an important part of this business sector
     of it, it is the long time that we have had                  has been for decades standing out for
     with us companies of the dimension and                       their good environmental practices,
     relevancy of Mercedes Benz or Michelin,                      being in many cases a true pioneer at
     which, decades ago, chose our city to                        the time of implementing productive
     be established, stimulating a rich and                       systems or processes, respectful with
     dynamic local business conglomerate.                         the environment, even further than

     Signature of the citizens’ pact for a sustainable mobility

     regulations were requiring at the time.                      (Environment National Congress), is
     Our companies´ active participation                          proof of their involvement.
     in those initiatives like the Green
                                                                  Hence the need to recognize the
     Agreement Community, groups like                             contribution of companies in Vitoria-
     ACLIMA (Basque Country Environment                           Gasteiz to the achievement of the
     Industry Cluster Association) or their                       European Green Capital award in
     recent presence in events as CONAMA                          2012. Much has been said about the work

carried out by public administration,         mayors have had to govern in minority,
about public projects, about the              negotiating agreements or supports with
commitment of the civil society and,          the rest of the municipal groups. However,
however, companies’ good work and             environmental policies have always
success have been rarely recognized.          enjoyed of a broad-based consensus.
                                              We could say that this environmental
This reality, which the Council is con-       sensibility has always been in the social
scious of, has definitely to be enhanced,     and political subconscious of Vitoria
understanding also that the vocation of       citizens, probably for their well-planned
Vitoria-Gasteiz for industry, together with   growth tradition, respectful with the
its respect for environment, constitute       surrounding nature.
a suitable breeding ground for a new
“green” economy swing, capable of in-         At the designation process for
tegrating the most technological and in-      the European Green Capital, this
novative aspects with the improvement         consensus was decisive and all the
of natural environment and the recovery       municipal groups supported Vitoria-
of its biodiversity and landscapes. An op-    Gasteiz´s nomination. During its
portunity our city should not miss.           proposal defense in front of the jury
                                              that decided on the award, what most
1.11. The political consensus,                called the attention of its members
      a key factor of the process             was the fact that the mayor of the city
                                              was accompanied by five spokesmen/
Since democracy was reestablished, to         spokeswomen of the other political
achieve a certain stability in municipal      municipal groups.2.1     The great
politics has never been easy, since all its   events of 2012

“Green” year

     2.1. The great events of 2012                   remained opened almost for one year.

                                                     2012 was also the year of the “Río+20
     2012 was a very special year for the city,
                                                     Summit” and the city did want to
     full of green energy flowing for its streets,
     provided by the own citizens but also, by       contribute with its part by bringing
     the thousands of visitors who came to the       together European and Latin-American
     city to better know the reasons for which       cities, in order to work together at a
     it had become the third Green Capital of        final declaration, in which the special
     Europe after Stockholm and Hamburg.             role that cities play in the sustainable
                                                     development of the Planet could be
     Vitoria-Gasteiz prepared a complete             well reflected. Cities like Bristol or San
     program of events with the aim of sharing       Jose of Costa Rica took part of this group,
     challenges and solutions on the attaining       led by the European Green Capital 2012.
     of more sustainable cities. November 2011
     was the celebration date of the first great     On June 29th, 2012, the city experienced
     congress, which was the basis for the green     one of the most exciting moments
     capital designation. More than 700 people       of the year with the celebration of
     met at CONAMA (Environment National             the Ceremony of Election of the
     Congress) under the motto “Rethinking           European      Green     Capital     2014.
     together the cities“, three intense days        Copenhagen received the award in a
     of work with national and international         ceremony that was preceded of 2 days
     participation and the active implication        of technical meetings and some visits
     of the citizenship, who could follow the        to different places of the city, in order
     subjects discussed, through collaborative       to know about the progress of its green
     sessions in the city civic centres.             projects.

     On February 7th 2012, the formal                Finally, Vitoria-Gasteiz said goodbye to
     opening ceremony of the green capital           2012 with the Green Night, a citizens´
     award took place, with the presence             event that congregated to thousands of
     of the Queen Sophia, the Minister of            people in the city streets with different
     Agriculture, Fishing and Environment,           activities going on that led to enhance its
     the Lehendakari, the General Deputy of          ecological conscience.
     Alava and the Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
                                                     Together with these important events,
     The Europa Congress and Exhibition              the program “Green Capital” was fulfilled
     Centre held for several months the              with different actions as the celebration
     Exhibition “Vitoria-Gasteiz European            of the “Ekolabora program” volunteers’
     Green Capital 2012”, which, in an               day or the European School Agenda
     innovative format, reflected the model of       21, which brought together hundreds of
     sustainable development aimed for the           students of different cities of Spain, Ger-
     city, the future challenges it was facing and   many and Romania, to work together on
     the way of approaching them. More than          the environmental improvement at their
     15.000 people visited this exhibition, which    respective schools and cities.

Award Ceremony of European Green Capital 2012 in Stockholm

2.2. New project and dreams                        helped to make citizens compromise
                                                   with their natural environment. These
The European Green Capital enjoyed                 plantations were carried out by schools,
the declaration of Event of Exceptional            sports centres, companies’ workers,
Public Interest, granted by both, the              clubs, neighbours´ associations, etc.
Spanish Government and the Diputacion              This identification of citizens, especially
Foral of Alava. This nomination allowed            youngest people, with the trees they have
that companies supporting the event                planted, guarantees a future respect
could enjoy important tax deductions.              and care of the Green Belt. In 2014, the
This helped to develop an intense                  project obtained the BEST’s qualification
sponsorship policy that, in the worst              (best practice) in the 10th edition of the
years of the economic crisis, managed to           Dubai International Best Practices
attract more than 3 million euros from             Award, organized by UN-Habitat.
companies of all kinds. This system, not           2.3. A program for all
only ensured these important economic
contributions to re-invest in city projects,       One of the aims of the “green” year
but it also allowed to give more visibility        program was to involve citizens, make
to the event through the diffusion that            them participants of the success of the
the own companies were doing of itself.            city that it was at the same time their
                                                   own success. For that purpose, various
One of the results of these sponsorship
                                                   programs adapted to the different
actions was the project “The Roots of
                                                   profiles: citizens, companies, trades,
Tomorrow”, which succeeded in planting             startups, etc. were organized.
250.000 new trees and bushes on the
Green Belt, one tree per citizen. These            Thus, the Green Agreement did imply
plantations helped to complete pieces              the commitment of many small and
of the Green Belt and, especially, they            medium companies for the improvement

of their production processes by means                 planting trees up to serving international
     of the adoption of such appropriate                    visitors as city guides.
     measures that would improve their
                                                            The “City Lab Program” arose with the
     sustainability. As far as today, more
                                                            aim of leaving the city at the disposal
     than 1.000 companies have joined
                                                            of startups and companies so that
     this initiative that every year celebrates
                                                            they could test and make known their
     a meeting where Green Agreement                        innovative products. In its first edition,
     Awards are granted to those companies                  six companies were able to test their
     implementing the best environmental                    products in real conditions. Later on, two
     practices.                                             more editions of this experience have
                                                            been held on, in 2015 and 2017.
     The “Ekolabora Program” was opened
     to the participation of volunteers of any              The “Green Factories Program”
     age and condition so that they could                   served to bring over, for either ordinary
     contribute to the extent of their skills               citizens or technical specialists, those
     to the success of the “green” year: from               infrastructures that help to make the

     Volunteer activities in the framework of the “Ekolabora Program”

     “green” city in daily life: from the water             to take advantage of the international
     treatment plan up to the waste landfill.               visibility given by the award.
     More than 5.000 people enjoyed this
     initiative.                                            Also a program of financial support to
                                                            citizens´ environmental initiatives
     The “Business Board for Sustainability”
                                                            was launched. A number of associations,
     intended     that    companies         and
                                                            NGOs and ordinary citizens presented
     administrations had an adequate
     meeting point to discuss and that                      their own proposals before the Council,
     companies could extract some kind of                   so as to join the “green” year. 100.000
     advantage from the fact of their city being            Euros financed ten local initiatives, from
     the European Green Capital and that way,               workshops to urban allotments.

2.4. Vitoria-Gasteiz, as                      Vitoria-Gasteiz. As it has been mentioned
     international Green reference            before, it also coincided that the Río+20
                                              Summit was celebrated the same year,
The designation of Vitoria-Gasteiz            what made sustainability subject to be
as European Green Capital meant a             the centre of social and political interest.
huge opportunity to stimulate its             Vitoria-Gasteiz had the opportunity to
international presence. This award            have its own voice in this Summit and
placed the city in the spotlight within the   to be able to vindicate the relevance
world sustainability frame, something         of the cities in the definition of the
unthinkable for a medium size city like       environmental policies of the planet.

The same year, the EU-China Partnership       more than 65 national and international
on Sustainable Urbanisation was               delegations that came close to the city
signed and Vitoria-Gasteiz had also           to see the reasons why we were the
the opportunity to take part in those         greenest city of Europe.
activities associated with this agreement,
receiving Chinese delegations and being       National and international media echoed
present at several summits Chinese -          such events organized on this “green
European in Brussels and China.               capital” basis, what meant a media
                                              international impact estimated in
During 2012 we also hosted important
                                              more than 15 million Euros.
events such as the mentioned EIMA 8,
the Civitas Forum, the International          The city re-formulated its institutional
Conference     of    the  FEDENATUR           image and strengthen a new city
network, the Seminar of the Climate           brand: Vitoria-Gasteiz Green Capital
Group, the Green Business Europe              that contributed to European positive
Congress, the 4th National Passivhaus
                                              environmental values, turning “Green”
Conference, the 21st Iberian Congress
                                              into our sign of identity and differential
of Ornithology, etc.
                                              value. It is interesting to highlight how all
The city received more than 120               this has influenced the pride of citizens
invitations to be present at several          for their city, something of a truly positive
international events and welcomed             effect.

as European Green Capital

     3.1. A bet for a Green                         3.2. Recycling the city:
          Urban Infrastructure                           extension and reform of
                                                         the Europe Congress Centre
     In its commitment to move forward as
     a green city, Vitoria-Gasteiz considered       In the year 2014, the Europa Congress
     some years ago the need to rethink             Centre was going to celebrate its 25 years
     about the extensive network of parks,          since its official opening. It was one of
     gardens, squares, wooded corridors             the first facilities of this kind in Spain but
     and other kind of green spaces existing        it needed a certain rehabilitation and
     in and around city, with the aim of setting    extension to be able to keep on being
     up a really cohesive green system which        competitive within the MICE market.
     would promote ecosystem spaces as
                                                    In line with the city environmental
     well as their citizens´ use.
                                                    strategy and also with the green
     To this end, the Center for Environmental      infrastructure project of the Gasteiz
     Studies proceeded with a new research,         Avenue, it was decided to undertake
     and at the same time undertook the first       an ambitious energy rehabilitation and
     actions, which, combined, gave birth           extension work, according to the most
     to the document “The Green Urban               demanding parameters.
     Infrastructure of Vitoria-Gasteiz”. A
                                                    The extension of the building has been
     proposal document, which tried to look
                                                    certified by the Passivhaus Institute,
     into the definition and development of a
     Green Urban Infrastructure System that,        a European standard for highly efficient
     as a kind of green network and by the          buildings; and the rehabilitation of the
     improvement or transformation of certain       rest of the building got the Leed Gold
     urban and peri-urban spaces, could             certification granted by the Green
     reinforce the multifunctionality of the city   Building Council of Spain. In this way, the
     ecosystem.                                     Europa Congress Centre has become a
                                                    model of sustainable architecture, which
     Throughout these five years since the          enables it to be well positioned in those
     award of the European Green Capital,           carbon neutral events to be held. The
     some of these strategic projects have          integrated management system of
     been developed and taken into action,          the building allows monitoring the CO2
     such as the aforementioned “The Roots          emissions of every room, calculating the
     of Tomorrow”, the construction of the          energy consumption for each congress
     river Olarizu´s lamination pond, the           attendant and certifying the emissions
     naturalization of green spaces and             and their possible compensations, so
     vacant plots in Lakua’s district, or           that an event can finally turn out to be
     the urbanistic reform of the Gasteiz           neutral in carbon.
     Avenue, with the recovery of a natural
     course and the front green cover of the        Probably the most shocking aspect
     Europa Congress Centre.                        of its transformation process is its

Appearance of the Gasteiz Avenue after its urban reform

vegetal façade and green roof, which                  transformation of public areas,
not only improves the insulation of the               regaining space for pedestrians to
building but also contribute to the green             the detriment of private car; in short,
infrastructure project of the Gasteiz                 more space for nature, pedestrians,
Avenue. In addition, both elements                    cyclists and preference for public
have a pedagogical mission since they                 transport (tram + bus)
represent the different ecosystems of the
natural environment of Vitoria-Gasteiz.               The model of the Gasteiz Avenue has
                                                      continued being applied to the renovation
3.3. Advancing in sustainable                         and adequacy of new urban routes,
     mobility: a boost to the                         following the “superblocks” strategy
     network of cycles lanes                          with pacified streets and the creation
     and to superblocks                               of new 30 km/h zones in more than 47
                                                      streets of the city. These implementations
Although, as already mentioned before,                have made it possible to liberate space
the transformation of the mobility of                 for cyclists and pedestrians and have
Vitoria-Gasteiz started at the beginning              directly hit upon something that very few
of the century with the launching of                  cities can achieve nowadays: the drastic
the Citizen Agreement for Sustainable                 reduction in the number of persons who
Mobility, the election of the city as a Green         get around in private cars, coming from
Capital has deepened the change and the               36% in 2006 to 24,70% in 2014. It is also
adoption of new measures within the last              important to underline the deployment
five years. Several aspects of sustainable            of the city centre superblocks, releasing
mobility have been emphasized, but                    therefore downtown from cars.
if we had to highlight one of them, this
would be, undoubtedly, the gradual                    Indeed,   the   incorporation    of   the

mobility variable, among those points                    a sustainable mobility, also in aspects of
     to be taken into account in the new                      electrical mobility.
     General Urban Plan, has allowed
     that both, new neighbourhoods and                        The evaluation of the Sustainable
     internal rehabilitation actions, (like the               Mobility and Public Space Plan
     “Coronación” neighbourhood and its                       of Vitoria-Gasteiz, recently being
     European project SmartEnCity), can                       accomplished, also reflects the impact of
     bring important fostering measures for                   the measures implemented to promote

     The city has gained space for citizenship, thanks to the Mobility and Public Space Plan

     cycling in the city through the Cycling                  distance bus station and special
     Director Plan: new cycling lanes (25%                    attention has been given also to the
     more of the initially foreseen routes),                  adaptation of safety routes to school
     more parkings and friendliness for their                 centres, either on foot or by bike.
     users. The figures speak for themselves.
     In 2002 only a 1,40% of the Vitoria                      3.4. The AMVISA´s “Plan
     citizens moved about by bike, in 2014                         Futura” for water
     this figure already amounted to 12,30%
                                                              To the traditional care and control of
     and it continues rising at an unstoppable
                                                              water supply and sanitation networks,
                                                              through the municipal society AMVISA,
     Along these last five years, the use of                  that have entitled the city to have one
     public transport, both urban buses and                   of the highest levels of efficiency in
     tram, have also been growing gradually.                  Europe, at the beginning of the 21st
     The city has inaugurated a new long-                     century, the 2004-2008 Integral Plan

for Water Saving and the first edition      continuity to a demand management
of the 2009-2012 “Plan Futura” were         policy that has allowed to reduce water
added. These have resulted in a set of      consumption in the city down to those
specific actions that have helped to give   figures that scarcely overcome 110 litres
a Water Integral Service, increasingly      per inhabitant and day, against the 122
efficient and of minimum consumption.       initial litres before the launching of the
All this, furthermore, fulfilling the       plan. The aim for this year 2017 is that
sustainability objectives mentioned in      this consumption comes lower than
the Environmental Action Plans of the       105 litres per inhabitant and day.
municipal “Agenda 21”.
                                            This citizens´ awareness has already
The second edition of the “Plan             reached an extraordinary scope with
Futura”, which began in 2013 and            almost 90% of the population being
finishes in 2017, consolidates the          compromised with a sustainable
already implemented actions and gives       consumption of water. For its part,

Image of the Zadorra river

AMVISA (Municipal Waters of Vitoria         3.5. Launching the agri-food
S.A.), has intensified the control of the        Strategy
water supply and sanitation networks,
by renewing during this century more        The European Green Capital 2012
than 72 kilometres of pipelines and more    award meant, not only a recognition
than 78.000 water meters, reaching a        of the work developed by our city
network efficiency of about 90%.            during decades, but also meant a spur
                                            to stimulate new policies towards
Future commitment will be based on
                                            sustainability which could enable the city
continuing the consolidation of these
                                            to fulfill determinedly some outstanding
high saving rates by means of programs
of continuous awareness on water, with
a constant renovation of the network,       This way, it was firmly decided to push
and adapting and modernizing both,          ahead a Sustainable Agri-food Strategy
treatment and supply plants. Also           for Vitoria-Gasteiz, with the final aim
continuing to promote good practices        to connect within a sustainable frame
in different areas, either services or      quality local food production with the
industry sectors.                           consumption of these products in the city.

It was precisely in 2012 when a group       services, together with some of these
     formed by associations and Vitoria´s        groups, were already working on
     citizenship conducted a reflection          the development of such a Strategy,
     process for the improvement of the          through specific actions of innovative
     agri-food system of Vitoria-Gasteiz.        and demonstrative character that
     The works developed by these groups         have become consolidated throughout
     and other people in their own right         these five years. Some examples
     crystallized in the manifest entitled       are the “Basaldea” Project for the
     Vitoria-Gasteiz for a sustainable           promotion of the ecological local
     agri-food system, to which the City
                                                 agriculture, the commercialization
     Council adhered, unanimously agreeing
                                                 of ecological food in the “Plaza de
     in March 2014 to obtain an agri-food
                                                 Abastos” (Municipal Market) and
     Municipal Plan in collaboration with
                                                 other agri-environmental initiatives,
     all the organizations taking part in this
     initiative.                                 as the urban allotments, managed
                                                 by citizens´ groups in municipal plots,
     In parallel, the municipal technical        civic centres or schools.

     Urban allotments

3.6. Towards a new municipal                 in the “House of la Dehesa de Olárizu”,
     energy model: saving,                   which has later been spread to twelve
                                             other buildings and municipal facilities.
     efficiency and renewable
                                             Furthermore, with the help of “HAZI”
Energy is one of the key fields in the       (Foundation for rural, coastal and food
way towards urban sustainability, and        development in the Basque Country),
is perhaps the area where there has          a powerful tool has been developed
been the least progress, largely due to      to manage the biomass generation
state legislation that has not favored its   potential     within    Vitoria-Gasteiz´s
development at the local level. Vitoria-     municipal area, the most extensive of
Gasteiz is significantly unprofitable        the Basque Country and with important
in the production of energy, since           public forest surfaces.
just a 4% of it is obtained from local
renewable sources and, therefore, the        Regarding geothermal energy, this
city has to make an enormous effort to       has been incorporated into big public
guarantee its no dependence of fossil        facilities as the new Bus station or the
fuels, which are not renewable and are       New Town hall. These buildings also
often produced in conflict areas.            incorporate photovoltaic panels.

Nevertheless, Vitoria-Gasteiz has been       In the field of efficiency, an intense work
exploring alternative energy sources         has indeed been made, placing particular
and it has been incorporating them in        emphasis in public lighting, with
its municipal buildings and facilities.      different projects for the substitution of
Within the biomass energy field, we can      conventional lights for others with LED
highlight the pilot experience carried out   technology, the installation of power

“Ataria” wetlands interpretation centre

flow regulation systems, use of presence       Urban Cooperation) which is a part of
     detectors, etc.                                the foreign policy of the European Union
                                                    and at which Vitoria-Gasteiz has been
     Similarly, audit work has been performed       invited to participate more specifically
     in different municipal buildings to be ready   on the block of cooperation with Latin
     to find a strategy of intervention when        America and Caribbean.
     its energy efficiency is near to increase,
     by improving the building´s insulation,        The award for Vitoria-Gasteiz implies an
     installing thermostat controls or replacing    added value in the search of European
     boilers, etc.                                  funds as well as in its participation in the
                                                    Horizon 2020 calls. In the last few years,
     3.7. Participation                             the city is taking part in important proj-
          in new initiatives and                    ects, like the “IrrigestLife” (on smart ir-
          European programs                         rigation), the “MOVESMART” (on urban
                                                    mobility), “PhytoSUDOE“ (on soil pollu-
     One of the aims of the European Green          tion recovery), etc. We ought to under-
     Capital award is that the winning cities       line the “SmartEnCity” project, which
     will become an inspiring model for other       is presently being carried out within the
     European and from other countries cities.      “Coronación” neighbourhood that is go-
     The appointment of Vitoria-Gasteiz as          ing to allow its inhabitants to take part
     Green Capital represented an enormous          in an innovative project on energy effi-
     qualitative and quantitative jump in           ciency, district heating, mobility and ur-
     its international visibility. It meant an      ban regeneration.
     accolade to the technical work already
     accomplished and a zoom vision on what         3.8. For a sustainable tourism
     Vitoria-Gasteiz had been undertaking
     during the last decades.                       If Vitoria-Gasteiz had achieved to become
     The own winning cities together with the       the European Capital of sustainability, its
     prize finalists have created a network,        tourism should also be a sustainable one.
     the European Green Capitals Network,           To this end, it was created a Sustainable
     in which Vitoria-Gasteiz takes part very       Tourism Board, in which the different
     frequently and which allows being in           sector companies were all represented:
     contact with the European leading cities       hotels, agro-tourisms, travel agencies,
     in urban sustainability.                       etc. From this table, sectors’ awareness
                                                    was emphasized and a series of energy
     In the same way, the European                  audits were performed. These audits
     Commission has counted on Vitoria-             made it possible to measure the facilities
     Gasteiz for different programs of              energy and water consumptions and set
     international cooperation. One of them         up those corrective measures that would
     is the World Cities Project that points        improve their efficiency.
     out the exchange of good practices
     as for sustainable regional and urban          Taking into account also the panel
     development. Led by the “DG Regio”,            of sustainable tourism indicators,
     it proposes partnerships between               proposed by the Global Sustainable
     European cities and those of third             Tourism Council, allowed us to know
     countries. In such a way, Vitoria-Gasteiz      our strengths and weaknesses as a
     took part in the program with Canada           sustainable destination. This objective
     becoming associated with Edmonton,             led us to get in touch with the Biosphere
     the capital of Alberta’s Province. Another     Responsible        Tourism     Certificate,
     program is the IUC (International              the only one so far authorized by this

international organization. Later on, with   title “Leadership and Governance in
the help of the Basque Government,           Sustainable Tourism”, was organized
Vitoria-Gasteiz was planed to be certified   by the European Foundation for
as a pilot experience, and this went on      Sustainable Tourism (FEST). The same
with the certification of the rest of the    year, in November, the Europa Congress
Basque destinations and of the whole         Centre, just renewed under sustainability
Euskadi as a tourism destination.            criteria, sheltered the World Summit
                                             on Sustainable Tourism, 20 years
In July 2015, Vitoria-Gasteiz welcomed       after being celebrated in Lanzarote. The
the Summer School that, under the            meeting finished with the approval of

“The Charter of Vitoria-Gasteiz“, which      3.9. Vocation for the citizen
reflects the major aims of sustainable            and public welfare
tourism, within the framework of the
United Nations Sustainable Development
                                             Vitoria-Gasteiz´s award as European
                                             Green Capital coincided with probably
It is necessary to emphasize the effort      the height of the economic and social
that has been made to improve acces-         crisis that, during almost a decade, has
sibility to cultural heritage, with such     led to an unjust impoverishment of a
actions as the ramps and elevators in        very important part of the global society.
the Medieval Quarter, the outstanding
performance in the “Santa Maria Cathe-       And our city has not remained unaware
dral” and the elimination of architec-       of this adversity, which has required
tural barriers in “Villa-Suso Palace”.       to articulate new measures for the

protection of the most needy people and     presently continue being a basic tool
     to strengthen the already existing ones,    in the development of specific actions
     while also public funds are enduring very   aimed to relieve those situations of social
     complicated circumstances, seeing how
                                                 vulnerability , in any of its manifestations.
     drastically their income is diminishing.

     To deal with this difficult social          These broad-spectrum actions have been
     context, it was considered both, the        complemented with other more specific
     reinforcement of the emergency social       ones, as the development of an Action
     assistance, and also the intensification    Plan for the years 2014-2016, -as a result
     of hosting programs, with psycho-
                                                 of Vitoria-Gasteiz´s belonging to the WHO
     socio-educative support provided by
     specialized teams, articulated from         (Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and
     the base social services, reference         Communities), the initiative “Onartuz”
     points located in the civic centres         for the hosting and assistance to genre
     for the access to the municipal social      violence victims or other different mea-
     protection system.                          sures to face forced evictions and mort-
     Likewise, group and community               gage executions, commitment acquired
     involvement programs have been, and         in 2013 by the Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

for the European
                              Green Capital + 10

4.1. Challenges and threads                   contribute for its solutions. Hence the
     in a complex future                      need to renew their engagement and
                                              recommit themselves, from their local
We are living in difficult times, in which    scale, to improve our planet future,
the ecological and climate change has         not only by strengthening the current
become a first level issue for our planet.    sustainable development policies but
These are also times of responsibility        also by promoting new initiatives that
for the current generations, forced to        will meet successfully the coming global
face urgently a deep eco-social crisis that   challenges.
can compromise the future of humanity.        The commitment to a circular economy
The seriousness of this situation has         of resources, the increase of an efficient
triggered endless warning and calls to        and renewable energy use, the restraint
action, as stated in the “Memorandum          of the unjustified occupation and use
of Nobel Prizes for Sustainability”           of the agricultural land, the protection
(Stockholm Memorandum), in which              and empowerment of local and regional
around fifty top level scientists and         biodiversity, the safeguard of water
experts – twenty of them Nobel awarded-       resources, together with a special
advocate the need to urgently face            compromise with energy shortage,
up the global ecological deterioration        immigrant reception, a decent and
process and to undertake without delay        dignified employment for everybody and
the reduction of greenhouse gases             the integration of the most vulnerable
emissions to combat climate change.           groups in society, are some examples
                                              of the reference objectives that Vitoria-
Vitoria-Gasteiz neither wants nor will        Gasteiz is going to undertake in the
remain outside this urgent appeal,            course of the next five years and which
understanding that the cities have much       will lead us to be the European Green
to say and a great deal to contribute         Capital +10.
with, at the time of identifying and
implementing possible solutions. And we       4.2. Vitoria-Gasteiz 2022
are not just referring to big cities, those        Urban Agenda.
which traditionally bear the primary               A renewed hope
responsibility for all environmental
problems and which are therefore              At the time of its launching as European
supposed to draw up a crisis exit strategy.   Green Capital 2012, in October 2010,
Cities of medium size such as Vitoria-        Vitoria-Gasteiz made it clear that this
Gasteiz host the 80% of the European          award would be, in the future, the city´s
inhabitants who live in urban areas           main sign of identity, engaging the need
and, therefore, who are an important          to continue to address with sufficient
part of the problem, but who can also         solvency the new challenges and

demands that urban societies will face        sustainable cities development is made
     up.                                           to.

     For this reason, our city is very conscious   With this Agenda, and under the prin-
     that the way towards sustainability is        ciples of “not leaving anybody behind”,
     complex and changeable, and not easy          “promoting inclusive and sustainable
     to be attended to alone. It is essential      urban economie” and “heading for envi-
     to work engaged with other cities, being      ronmental sustainability”, Vitoria-Gasteiz
     opened to new international scenes,           wants to avoid the risk of complacency,
     looking for common approaches,                strengthening the consolidation of the
     exchanging knowledge and sharing              work made so far and, above all, ap-
     achievements and improvements for a           proaching new exciting and ambitious
     fairer social future and a more habitable     projects, which can face the complex
     world. In this sense, Vitoria-Gasteiz has a   challenges lying ahead within the next
     great opportunity to take advantage of its    decades.
     international brand image as a green city,
     pushing ahead the networks to which it        4.3. Towards a bio-regional
     belongs and, specially, strengthening its          model: city and territory
     position as a reference of medium size
     European sustainable cities.
                                                        hand by hand

     Under these premises, our city intends        In its commitment for sustainability,
     to develop an Urban Agenda, with a first      Vitoria-Gasteiz has also internalised
     view to 2022, in line with the New Urban      the need to go beyond its exclusively
     Agenda established in the III United          local framework to work within a
     Nations Conference on Sustainable             bioregional scene of frank cooperation
     Urban Development and Housing, and            with its rural surroundings, with the
     with the Sustainable Development              aim of progressively accommodate
     Goals, formulated in 2015 by the UN,          its environmental footprint to its
     in which specific reference to more           regional bio-capacity.

Probably, the most fascinating challenge        of new agricultural land and to help
for Vitoria-Gasteiz in the next years           stimulating the internal growth under
is to accomplish and consolidate a              redensification, urban regeneration and
harmonic socioeconomic development              mixing of uses principles. Urban density
model, together with its surrounding            is a key factor for sustainability and
municipalities, in the frame of what            Vitoria-Gasteiz must opt for reaffirming
has come to be called the Bioregion of          its model of compact, complex, efficient
Central Alava.                                  and inclusive city.

A model which claims for the sustainable        It is the moment to make more city
conviviality of urban, rural and natural        in the city itself, to regenerate the
systems, in a new strategic territorial         obsolete areas by improving their public
projection, configuring a space with the        spaces, attracting new uses, increasing
sufficient complexity and availability of       its accessibility and promoting energy
resources that will allow to harmonize a        efficiency in its buildings. Those
healthy life with the preservation of the       neighborhoods raised in the years of the
local ecosystems, contributing in this          rapid industrialization of the city deserve
way to the correction of the ecological         to be rethought and revitalized by means
global unbalances without renouncing            of such initiatives as “SmartEnCity”,
the economic development of the                 planned within the neighborhood of
productive sectors.                             “Coronación”.

This way, the central aim that Vitoria-         This project, financed with European
Gasteiz should consider for the next five-      funds of the program “Cities and
year period will be the consolidation and       Intelligent Communities” will mean an
the first steps of the Bioregion of Central     important improvement in the quality of
Alava. A project which intends to advance       life of this neighborhood constructed in
towards a sustainable and competitive           the 60s. This intervention tries to improve
territory, capable of reducing its ecological   the energy efficiency of more than
and carbon fingerprint, in conformity           1.300 houses by means of the building
with the strategies of sustainability,          envelope insulation improvement and
innovation, adaptation and fight against        the implementation of a district heating
the climate change, biodiversity ... that       system fed by biomass. In addition,
international organizations support             important improvements of the public
and that the Basque Government, the             space and a friendly accessibility, by
Diputacion Foral de Alava as well as the        removing architectural barriers, will be
Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz have already         pushed forward. This project will be used
launched up.                                    as an example for many other Vitoria
                                                neighborhoods of similar characteristics.
4.4. Building a better city
                                                The downtown must recover its pulse,
At the present time, Vitoria-Gasteiz            lost after the great urban expansion to
is reviewing its General Urban Plan             easter and western areas in the last years
what supposes an opportunity to                 and the displacement of administrative
strengthen and guarantee its sustainable        uses towards other zones. It is necessary
development model. After a General              to attract new tertiary uses to occupy
Expansive Plan as that of the year 2000,        the vacant buildings and rely on the
now it is time to review and correct            railway station as the future activity
the expansive policies, betting on a            tractor element. With the arrival of the
city that grows inward. It is necessary         High-speed Train foreseen for 2023, the
to stop the irreparable consumption             models of regional mobility will change

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