Bilbao, City of Design

Nominator : Bilbao Ekintza

Design is constantly present in our daily lives, often without us being aware of it. Good design attempts to combine functionality, comfort and visual attractiveness in many of the objects and processes which we use every day, and improves people’s lives. Bilbao sees the UNESCO City of Design as a commitment which generates synergies; an international strategic framework capable of optimising resources and boosting incentives; an umbrella under which all public and private initiatives fit together, striving for the transformation, growth and development of Bilbao and its citizens through the use of design and creativity.


The new journey that Bilbao has undertaken within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network has the firm and resolute backing of the implicated institutions, the agreement of the organisations working towards creativity and design in the region, and the enthusiasm and commitment of professionals and citizens. They bring a rich history of creativity, design and innovation, dynamic organisational structures and innovative means. The objective is to develop a future, where creativity forms an intimate part of everyone’s life.


The City has a long tradition regarding cultural life. In order to maintain a very dynamic cultural environment, significant efforts have been made in the creation of policies and support programmes, new infrastructures and contemporary events, in order to enable citizen participation and to open up this area to as many collectives as possible.


Half of the population and economic activity in the Basque Country is concentrated in the metropolitan area of Bilbao, making it one of the fastest-growing Atlantic regions in Europe as well as a national model in advanced technology.

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