It seems that it would be enough to listen to the candidates and read their programs to vote in the next municipal and regional elections. But the truth is that it is almost impossible to know the real offer of the political parties and their candidates beyond the conjunctures and political disputes of the day to day. And with the electoral campaign, things get even worse. The male and female candidates appear to us, in general, as true caricatures of themselves; necessarily close, with a big, but forced, smile, jogging without looking like athletes, riding a bicycle for the first time, … does it ring a bell? And the really relevant topics are completely hidden

I at least do not perceive in the programs how we are going to manage an increasingly diverse city and made up of people of disparate geographical origins. I don’t see what is being proposed so that those who come from afar in search of new life options feel welcomed and invited to build a truly inclusive community together. Why is this what everyone wants? or not…?. Nor can I understand what instruments are going to be put in place so that the legion of unemployed people that the crisis has left us do not feel unprotected and can find ways to once again develop their full potential.

Nor do I appreciate among those who are running to govern our cities, the concern or urgency that climate change imposes on us. Honestly, I would like to see how the different options compete to tell us when they think it is possible for our cities to be carbon neutral and the instruments they will put in place to achieve it. Did you know that Copenhagen proposes it and in a very serious way by 2025 ?

But I only hear siren songs and politically correct messages to look good. Of course, very green! How are we going to move from an urban space designed and adapted for the car, to another in which walking, cycling or public transport are the most natural, comfortable and feasible options for everyone? And those sustainable mobility plans in which the roads are untouchable, bike lanes lead nowhere and improvements in public transport are simply incremental are not worth answering.

How are we going to reduce polluting and greenhouse gas emissions from our public transportation system? Because it seems that nobody remembers that public transport also pollutes a lot and that there is technology (hybrid and electric vehicles powered by green electricity and sustainable biofuels) that would make our transport, in addition to being public, not even harm people’s health, nor that of the planet. How are we going to encourage the renovation of the housing stock and public buildings so that they are energy efficient? How are we going to cut down on the waste of resources that waste generates?… and many more and more questions that once again remain floating in the wind

Finally, I see that everyone is joining the bandwagon of economic dynamism. You already know about entrepreneurship, internationalization, attracting companies, creating jobs and wealth…, but, again, they are songs that lack the lyrics. In my opinion, our cities need to fine-tune in order to actively contribute to the creation of a competitive and low-carbon economy. And it is not about each municipality waging war on its own, which makes no sense, but about reflecting on how the city is integrated into the industrial policy of the Basque Country, which is committed to promoting a global industry, in based on innovation and knowledge.

The key question remains floating in the wind because we do not know if our leaders will take advantage of the purchases of their City Council (transport equipment, energy, garbage collection, social services…) to promote advanced manufacturing, renewable energy and the health, which are the priority lines established by the “PCTI 2020. An intelligent specialization strategy of the Basque Country RIS3 ”, recently approved by the Basque Government. Or if, on the contrary, they will let themselves be carried away by the inertia of saving costs because of course, it is more expensive to buy electric buses than conventional ones, right?