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Learning from Bilbao

January 2, 2015

Starting 2015 with the optimism which inspired this post last summer.

Tom Rankin's Still Sustainable City Blog: ROME

Nervión riverside promenade with Calatrave bridge Nervión riverside promenade with Calatrava bridge

A three day trip to Bilbao, Spain reminds me of some simple solutions to apply to Rome.  Of course, these are two different cities.  Rome has multi-millenial cultural heritage, Bilbao much less. Rome has three times the population, and a much larger tax burden. Oh, and Bilbao is cold and rainy compared to Rome. So, potentially, Rome has more resources and greater attraction, and yet Bilbao is without doubt more livable.

Much has been written about the Bilbao effect, the result of choosing a “starchitect” like Frank Gehry to design a new Guggenheim Museum where a great landmark building and a good international marketing machine make up for a not-so-impressive collection.  (Except for Richard Serra that is).

But the Bilbao effect I saw these days was more about public space, sustainable mobility and the rehabilitation of the urban riverfront.  All lessons that could be…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Joan Schmelzle permalink
    January 3, 2015 00:26

    After reading the whole blog, I do love the cleaning crew of 2018! I hope to be in my favorite city in late 2015 so will hope for the best.

    Like

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