Bilbao (Spain)

Bilbao is a city of 354,000 inhabitants, located in the province of Biscay in northern Spain. It is the largest city in the Basque Country, 400 km northwest of Barcelona, and is well known for its Guggenheim Museum. Bilbao metro, tram and bus all support rehabilitation of deteriorated quarters.

Its strategic approach to transport management is not yet defined in a written strategy. However, there is a general sustainable urban transport plan, the main targets of which include restricting access to the city center, reducing the number of parking places and promoting a less car intensive lifestyle.

Achievements to date include the introduction of innovative infrastructure such as the creation of new bicycle routes, the development of the tram network and the building of the third underground railway line. Special emphasis on clean vehicles and alternative fuels has been demonstrated through a rise in the usage of biofuels in buses to 35 percent. Challenges have included difficulties in fuel supply for buses running on natural gas. Future plans include increasing the percentage of biodiesel usage in buses up to 50 percent in the next few years and introducing electro-mobility in the downtown area.

The city of Bilbao is working on the implementation of sustainable urban transport measures in cooperation with European NGOs active in the area of sustainable urban mobility (e.g. POLIS), as well as transport management business enterprises, other cities and the regional government.

Summary finalised: May 15, 2009

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