16 October 2017 – El Correo
Bilbao is fine-tuning where the city is going to grow in the future. The next General Urban Development Plan (PGOU), the instrument that will regulate the city’s development over the next thirty years, is reserving land on which 13,000 new homes are going to be built, in some of the most prominent areas of the city.
Specifically, it confirms the construction of 8,500 homes in Zorrozaurre, Punta Zorroza – a project that has not been defined yet – and Bolueta, where a lack of demand has forced the local government to convert a residential tower that was already designed in the plans into VPO (social housing) properties. The remaining 4,500 homes are planned for Elorrieta, Olabeaga, the Irala area –spread across industrial units still pending reclassification – and the “lid” of the Abando underground station.
The preview of the PGOU, which was unveiled to the public on Friday by decision of the local PNV-PSE Government, considers that the figure of 13,000 homes has “the capacity to support a similar number of inhabitants” to the number living in the city today – 342,481 residents, according to the latest report from Eustat. The population, which has been ageing and in progressive decline for the last decade, represents one of Bilbao’s future challenges.
Another challenge facing the next PGOU is the balance of social housing and the rate of growth that respects the environment, especially in the case of mobility. In this sense, the urban planning rules include several operations to eliminate obstacles, which have been requested repeatedly by citizens: the Rekalde section of the motorway viaduct – a project that also depends on the Diputación – and the placing underground of roads in the neighbourhoods of Zorroza and Olabeaga. The latter neighbourhood has opted to “exclusively” develop residential when the goods line disappears.
Original story: El Correo (by José Mari Reviriego)
Translation: Carmel Drake