After decades of political oppression and industrial decline, the Basque people of Bilbao, Spain sought to incorporate cultural revival into their urban redevelopment. The redevelopment in Bilbao, Spain is recognized all over the world. Bilbao is an icon to those who hope to revitalize their post-industrial city. This paper looks to understand why this reurbanization was so successful and to determine how the Basque people implemented their culture, history, and identity into their new post-industrial and post-dictatorial space. I will be discussing the history of both the Basque Country and Bilbao to provide context for the redevelopment. Additionally, I will highlight specific examples of the redevelopment such as Bilbao’s airport, the Guggenheim, the center of Abandoibarra, and Kafe Antzokia, and I will highlight how they incorporated Basque identity into the redevelopment. I will also consider the organizations that facilitated the redevelopment, Bilbao Metropoli 30 and Bilbao Ria 2000. Additionally, I will highlight challenges to the Basque identity that came with redevelopment, and how Bilbao fits in the context of redevelopment as a whole.
Gazura, Kaylie, "From Grey City to Metropolitan Icon: Basque Cultural Revival and Urban Redevelopment in Bilbao, Spain" (2018). Honors College. 334.