On January 23, the Basque Government invited us to present the New Urban Agenda for the Basque Country (BULTZATU2050). This is the transposition to the Basque reality of the New Urban Agenda (NAU) approved in 2016 in Quito (Ecuador) during the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

The Goal number 11 of the SDG, calls for the development of sustainable cities and communities since cities occupy 3% of the land and consume up to 80% of the energy and generate 75% of carbon emissions. The NAU gives content to SDG11 and manages to outline the alternative to the current urban model. The model of productive cities surrounded by commuter towns, constant urban expansion and dependence on motorized mobility, among other problems in our territory, must be overcome. Faced with this, it is committed to a model where urban and territorial planning transcends the demands of promoters and considers the diversity of needs of all citizens, with special emphasis on the most vulnerable sectors.

The New Basque Urban Agenda (still pending publication) reinforces the position taken up by the new Territorial Planning Guidelines and by certain local actions where it is called to limit urban growth in towns and cities of the Basque Country; the creation of green rings that contain urban expansionism is encouraged; the introduction of green and blue infrastructures in the urban fabric; the promotion of the local circular economy; investment in quality public transport; as well as the gender perspective and citizen participation and social inclusion. Cities have to consider citizens and be friendly places for life.

We celebrate that our vision on urban planning and territory is included in the new agendas and that this is the direction to be taken by urban planning in the immediate future. Now is the time for the New Local Urban Agendas and to include in the Local Agendas 21 what is included in the NAU. In addition, it is vital to get down to work to land these agendas in tangible projects in the municipalities. It is time to re-naturalize the cities; create green containment rings; carry out participatory processes of urban transformation towards more livable cities; to implement local circular economy models. In short, to continue building sustainable cities and territories.