New neighbourhoods join OPENGELA

More than 500 homes in 4 neighbourhoods in the Basque Country, Spain, join the OPENGELA project.

New neighbourhoods join OPENGELA

The Basque Government will allocate €14 million between 2021 and 2023 to urban regeneration programs in four neighbourhoods of Ezkerraldea-Meatzaldea, within the framework of tractor projects in disadvantaged regions or areas of preferential action. The Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport of the Basque Executive met this Monday in Bilbao with the municipalities that will receive the funds to promote comprehensive actions in their neighbourhoods: Abanto-Zierbena, Portugalete, Santurtzi and the Trapaga Valley. A total of 522 families will be directly benefited by the additional funds for comprehensive urban regeneration in this region.

In each of these neighbourhoods, an OPENGELA office will be created to facilitate neighbourhoods 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 that will help boost the employability of people living in the neighbourhood.

In the case of Abanto-Zierbena, action will be taken on 200 homes in the Las Peñucas neighbourhood, in Portugalete on 23 homes on Grumete Diego street, in Santurtzi in the Aurora Vildósola complex with 104 homes and finally in the Trapaga Valley in the San Andrés neighbourhood, with 135 low-density worker dwellings and 60 block dwellings.

The €14 million come from the Berpiztu program for the Economic Reactivation 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 to promote tractor projects in the areas preferential action –Ezkerraldea-Meatzaldea, Enkarterri, Oarsoaldea and Aiaraldea-. The initiatives will begin this year and will run until 2023. The specific amount allocated to comprehensive action in vulnerable neighbourhoods in Ezkerraldea-Meatzaldea will be distributed €1.5 million in 2021, €6.4 million in 2022 and 6 million in 2023. At present, the Vice-Ministry of Territorial Planning is working to identify new integral urban regeneration projects with the Aiaraldea town councils, with €3.5 million available to promote this type of initiative.

The Deputy Minister of Territorial Planning, Miguel de los Toyos, has indicated that “with the four new neighbourhoods we practically doubled the points in the Basque Country where we implemented the Basque model of urban regeneration. It is a pioneering way of intervening in vulnerable areas from the energy rehabilitation and accessibility of homes and neighbourhoods that are giving good results and that allows, in addition to improving the quality of life of the neighbourhoods, to influence the training of people so that they have new job opportunities is a formula that is already serving as an example for other autonomous communities ”.

With the new neighbourhoods, the Opengela comprehensive urban regeneration project will be active in a total of nine neighbourhoods in the Basque Country. The offices of the two districts of the European project Opengela with which the model is being tested –Otxarkoaga in Bilbao and Txonta in Eibar- are already underway, as well as in Aramotz, Durango, and Basaundi Bailara, in Lasarte-Oria. In 2021, Andonaegi in Pasaia will also be added to the neighbourhoods with a proximity office, with €8 million of ordinary budget from the Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport.