The Regional Minister of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, Iñaki Arriola, and António Calçada, Director General of Fundación Repsol, signed the pre-agreement on April 19th 2021 for the creation of the Opengela Fundazioa, the organisation through which they will jointly promote a comprehensive plan for eco-sustainable renovations in the Basque Country.
The new Foundation will be the body that will manage eco-sustainable refurbishment projects throughout the Basque Country and progress is already being made in identifying the areas of action. These interventions are currently being carried out through the European Opengela project, financed by the Horizon 2020 programme, in the pilot neighbourhoods of Txonta (Eibar) and Otxarkoaga (Bilbao) and its model is being replicated in the neighbourhoods of Aramotz (Durango) and Basaundi Bailara (Lasarte-Oria). In addition to these projects, the Basque Government has promoted urban regeneration actions in Coronación (Vitoria-Gasteiz) and Txomin Enea (Donostia).
With this new step towards the creation of Opengela Fundazioa, the Basque Government and Fundación Repsol seek to extend the evolution towards a new model of neighbourhoods that is energetically sustainable, accessible and socially and urbanistically cohesive to the whole of the Basque Country.
The actions will focus on energy efficiency, accessibility and structural safety, helping to reduce emissions and improving people’s quality of life. The local offices, Opengelas, will provide technical assistance to carry out these refurbishments and will also offer financing programmes to give access to this type of intervention to people in situations of social vulnerability, long-term unemployment or energy poverty.
Opengela Fundazioa will be a private entity and is expected to start its activity during this year, after its registration in the Basque Country Foundations Register, an activity that will be carried out in close contact with both the Basque Government and the Basque Town Councils.
The Regional Minister for Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport pointed out that “the Basque Country has one of the oldest free housing stock in the whole of southern Europe and we have an obligation to make the revolution of energy-sustainable refurbishment available to everyone, regardless of their purchasing power”.
For his part, António Calçada, Director General of Fundación Repsol, stressed that this collaboration “promotes a sustainable and inclusive energy transition, contributing to the goals of reducing emissions and improving the quality of life of families, especially the most vulnerable. Besides, it has a great impact on economic recovery, supporting the development of the Basque business fabric to carry out refurbishments”.
This agreement will also promote research, development and innovation in the field of building refurbishment, urban regeneration and the development of sustainable, inclusive, cohesive and resilient cities.
Original article published in Spanish here: https://opengela.eus