- The extraordinary contribution from the Basque Government’s Berpiztu programme will enable work to be carried out on half a thousand homes and their respective neighbourhoods in Abanto-Zierbena, Portugalete, Santurtzi and Valle de Trapaga.
- The Department is already working with the Aiaraldea town councils to incorporate new neighbourhoods with an additional 3.5 million.
The Basque Government will allocate an extraordinary 14 million euros between 2021 and 2023 to urban regeneration programmes in four neighbourhoods in Ezkerraldea-Meatzaldea, within the framework of projects in disadvantaged districts or areas of preferential action. The Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of the Basque Executive met this Monday in Bilbao with the town councils that will receive the funds to promote integral actions in neighbourhoods: Abanto-Zierbena, Portugalete, Santurtzi and the Trapaga Valley. A total of 522 families will directly benefit from the additional funds for integral urban regeneration in this region.
In each of these neighbourhoods, a proximity office, known as opengelas, will be created to provide neighbourhoods with access to financing and professionals to improve the accessibility and energy efficiency of buildings. Projects to improve urban environments will also be promoted and there will be training initiatives to boost the employability of people living in the neighbourhood.
In the case of Abanto-Zierbena, work will be carried out on 200 homes in the Las Peñucas neighbourhood, in Portugalete on 23 homes in Grumete Diego street, in Santurtzi in the Aurora Vildósola complex with 104 and finally in Valle de Trapaga in the San Andrés neighbourhood, with 135 low-density workers’ homes and 60 block homes.
The 14 million euros come from the Berpiztu programme for the Economic Recovery and Employment of the Basque Country 2020-24, within which the Basque Government has activated a special plan with a total extraordinary budget of 180 million euros to promote tractor projects in the areas of preferential action -Ezkerraldea-Meatzaldea, Enkarterri, Oarsoaldea and Aiaraldea-. The initiatives will begin this year and will run until 2023. The specific amount earmarked for comprehensive action in vulnerable neighbourhoods in Ezkerraldea-Meatzaldea will be distributed as 1.5 million in 2021, 6.4 million in 2022 and 6 million in 2023. At the moment, the Vice-Ministry of Territorial Planning is working to identify new comprehensive urban regeneration projects with 3.5 million euros available to promote this type of initiative with the councils of the Aiaraldea.
The Deputy Minister for Territorial Planning, Miguel de los Toyos, indicated that «with the four new neighbourhoods, we are practically doubling the number of places in the Basque Country where we are implementing the Basque model of urban regeneration; it is a pioneering way of intervening in vulnerable areas through the energy and accessibility rehabilitation of homes and neighbourhoods that is producing good results and which, in addition to improving the quality of life of the neighbourhoods, is making an impact on training people to give them new job opportunities; it is a formula that is already serving as an example for other autonomous communities».
With the new neighbourhoods, the Opengela integral urban regeneration project will be active in a total of nine neighbourhoods in the Basque Country. Opengelas are already up and running in the two neighbourhoods of the European Opengela project with which the model is being tested -Otxarkoaga in Bilbao and Txonta in Eibar-, as well as in Aramotz, Durango, and Basaundi Bailara, in Lasarte-Oria. In 2021, the Andonaegi neighbourhood in Pasaia will also be added to the neighbourhoods with a proximity office, with an ordinary budget of eight million euros from the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport.