The Basque Country set in motion a novel concept of neighbourhood offices called ‘opengelas‘ in 2019 as part of its plans related to urban regeneration. Its aim was to help residents throughout the process of renovating their apartment buildings.

It started as a European project called HIROSS4all, the acronym for Home Integrated Renovation One-Stop-Shop For vulnerable districts, funded with 1.7 million by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.


HIROSS4all (better known as Opengela) set itself the objective of creating a model of neighbourhood offices that would accompany the residents during the refurbishment process: from administrative paperwork to dealing with energy services contractors or the provision of financial aid.

The project aimed to promote the integrated renovation of apartment buildings in the oldest neighbourhoods or those with the greatest needs in the Basque Country, as well as greater energy efficiency, universal accessibility and the incorporation of the minimum fire protection and safety systems. All this, with a social dimension, which implies putting the focus on people and neighbourhoods, making them part of the process.


The project successfully designed the neighbourhood office model and laid the foundations for replication in other municipalities, both in the Basque Country and in other regions of Europe.

HIROSS4all / Opengela was a successful project both qualitatively and quantitatively.

In terms of qualitative data, the following three can be highlighted:

In terms of quantitative data, the following figures are worth noting:


For three years, the European project carried out a pilot test in two neighbourhoods: Otxarkoaga (Bilbao) and Txonta (Eibar).

In Otxarkoaga, in Bilbao, work was done on 15 house numbers of five buildings with 238 houses. The neighbourhood office was installed in the former BBK nursery. Other courses of action are also undertaken from there, such as the refurbishment of the old shopping centre and the launch of business initiatives in premises which are currently empty.

In the Txonta neighbourhood in Eibar, the refurbishment followed current standards of energy efficiency and accessibility. The pilot project involved renovations works in 187 houses of 15 house numbers. Above all, priority was given to the participation of the neighbours. The office is in Txonta street, on the ground floor no. 3.


The project was led by the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of the Basque Government, in a consortium with 9 partners from both the public and private sectors:


HIROSS4all acted as an apprenticeship for the implementation of neighbourhood offices. In order to facilitate the replication of the model in other municipalities in the Basque Country and Europe, the basic information is included in this documentation as an archive.


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