Bilbao Green Spaces Master Plan  

The vision:

This Master Plan provides clear guidelines for Bilbao to benefit from quality open spaces. It proposes a series of guidelines to offer high quality spaces. The Master Plan will therefore define, in its Action Plan, an ambitious “Requalification Plan for Large Urban Parks” of the city, where the emphasis will be on improving the quality of the existing spaces. This requalification will focus on providing character and distinction to each park (instead of the uniformity of today); improving the connections between them, enhancing their multifunctionality; increasing vegetation by strata (trees, shrubs, ground cover, grasses and perennial); improving the materials of the “hardscape” and street furniture; and generating greater environmental comfort and more enjoyable living areas.

The content:

The Master Plan is divided into 7 parts:

  1.  1. Chapter 1_ Vision of the Master Plan for open spaces in Bilbao.
  2.  2. Chapter 2_Definition of benefits and the functions of quality open spaces. Enter the purposes and content of the Master Plan, and its relationship with the Bilbao Green Infrastructure.
  3.  3. Chapter 3_ Planning, analysis and diagnosis of open spaces in the city. Identify and understand the current state through an analysis, which has the objective of identifying the weaknesses and potential of the network of open spaces in Bilbao.
  4.  4. Chapter 4_ Proposal of new typologies and improvement of existing open spaces: change of concept from green area to open space, identification of new typologies and definition of improvement actions of the existing spaces. A map is made of the network of open spaces in Bilbao according to the new typologies; descriptive pages of the proposed typologies and pages of improvement of existing open spaces by typology.
  5.  5. Chapter 5_Proposal of design criteria innovators of the new open spaces, to be sustainable, multifunctional, healthy and resilient to climate change. Proposal of materials and suitable vegetable planting palette. Elaboration of a series of guidelines, where they apply new criteria for design, implementation and maintenance defined by the Master Plan.
  6.  6. Chapter 6_ Defining guidelines for the implantation of new open spaces.
  7.  7. Chapter 7_Proposal for maintenance works, according to its intensity and definition of the tasks according to the type of maintenance.
  8.  8. Chapter 8_ Plan of Action and management of open spaces of Bilbao.

The strategies:

The Bilbao Green Spaces Master Plan purpose is to define a series of guidelines to offer high quality spaces through the following actions:

  • • Complete the green infrastructure network, increase forest parks and recover abandoned spaces
  • • Improve the connection with the outskirts parks through pedestrian and bicycle paths
  • • Strengthen the estuary by giving continuity to its banks and creating points of attraction
  • • Improve the accessibility to existing parks and create new ones
  • • Recover abandoned spaces
  • • Improve the quality of open spaces
  • • Create a network of urban paths
  • • Create healthy, accessible open spaces with a gender approach
  • • Promote citizen participation in the design and management of open spaces

After a diagnosis,  Sunlight has proposed a series of actions to improve the quality and complexity of the open spaces:

  • • Improve environmental comfort
  • • Increase biodiversity
  • • Reduce lawn areas
  • • Create a greater diversity of open spaces: wetlands, meadows
  • • Introduce SUDS
  • • Introduce sport areas
  • • Improve accessibility
  • • Introduce permeable pavement

Climate change will also have an impact in the city of Bilbao with the increase of torrential rains, heat waves and droughts. The Master Plan proposes different actions to mitigate this impact, such as reduce lawn areas, reduce impermeable surfaces, create rain gardens, use waste water for irrigation or design shaded areas with pergolas and vegetation.

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