Following a profound crisis in the 1980s, Bilbao undertook an exemplary urban transformation, underpinned by public-public collaboration, spanning various administration levels, private sector partnerships, and citizen involvement. This collective effort led to the city’s renaissance, with a revitalized set of social values and a place among Europe’s most collaborative regions.
In this context, Bilbao City of Values – Bilbao Balioen Hiria emerged as an innovative project, providing a platform for analysis, dialogue, reflection, and collaborative efforts among institutions, social and cultural entities, businesses, media, schools, and citizens. Its primary goal is to foster a framework of shared values in Bilbao, with active citizen, economic, social, and cultural participation, led by the University. As a main outcome of the project, the Bilbao Charter of Values mirrors the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offering a shared framework for the city’s development and action plans.
The Local4Action HUB Bilbao aims to promote a joint and participatory reflection with other cities on the importance of values as tractors of transformation; aims to encourage the development of a framework of shared values and encourage the development of projects in each participating city and local government, sharing their own experience. The HUB has three core objectives: to contemplate the values a city should champion for urban transformation, to showcase Bilbao’s City of Values experience, and to stimulate the creation of a shared values framework among cities and local governments within UCLG.
The HUB employs a collaborative methodology that fosters training, transparency, and shared responsibility among participating cities. To operationalize the Bilbao HUB, they will use online synchronous forums for defining tasks, a collaborative workspace for advanced work on specific guide-sheets, and documents based on city-provided information and event decisions. Participating cities engage in reflection, pre-forum preparations, and participation during online synchronous forums.
The Local4Action HUB Bilbao is focused on four forums held between 2021 and 2023.
- Defining the “why” and the “what for” of city values, reflecting them in a shared Manifesto.
- Agreeing on the basis of a Values Charter, shared by participating cities and local governments, defining each value and its scope.
- Developing a Catalogue of Inspiring Practices based on initiatives already underway in each city and local government.
- Advancing towards a Values Development Agenda, which includes shared actions related to the values in the Values Charter.
The initiative seeks to act from the local to impact the global and aim to advance the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the New Urban Agenda.
This commitment is recognized already in the preamble of the Charter, declared “in line with the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations” and which sets the Sustainable Development Goals as a plan of “action for people, the planet and prosperity” to “end poverty and hunger, […] and ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential with dignity and equality and in a healthy environment”, “protect the planet […] through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change”” and “ensure that all human beings can enjoy a prosperous life and that economic, social and technological progress takes place in harmony with nature”.
The leadership of Bilbao in localizing the 2030 Agenda has been further recognized as the city has been selected by the United Nations to host the Local2030 coalition, an initiative chaired by UN-Habitat that supports the on-the-ground delivery of the SDGs among multiple stakeholders. It brings together several UN agencies, UCLG and its members, together with other stakeholders to promote SDG acceleration at the global level by fostering localization and the leading role of local and regional governments.
Link to Agenda 2030
- All SDGs
Link to the UCLG Pact for the Future of Humanity
- All commitments of the Pact for the Future
Link to other Global Agendas
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- New Urban Agenda
Local4Action HUB Bilbao was launched on June 28, 2021 in a special session where its methodology and roadmap were presented and where the possibility was opened for other cities and partners to join this initiative. You can watch the special launch session at the following link.
- Forum 1
The first synchronous online forum was held on October 19, 2021. During the first forum, a joint reflection was developed about “what,” “why,” and “what for” a City of Values. The results of this debate became the basis for the Preamble of the Charter of Values.
- Forum 2
The values we are going to agree on (November 2021)
- Forum 3
Actions each city has done (May 2022) – Result: Catalog of Inspiring Practices
- Forum 4
What we can do (November 2022) – Result: Agenda of Values
- Closing Forum
Presentation of key findings (March 2023) – Result: Final Report.
How to join the Local4Action HUB
If your city is interested in participating in the Local4Action HUB Bilbao, please fill in the following form.
Participation in the Local4Action HUB Bilbao implies the following commitments from the cities and local governments that wish to do so:
- Regularly attend forums and online (or in-person) work sessions.
- Share each other’s own experiences relating to the Local4Action HUB.
- Actively participate and agree on work objectives.
- Promote the development of the commitments made in the Local4Action HUB.
- Meet agreed commitments within the established deadlines.
For further information please contact: