On July 11 and 12, the UPV/EHU Summer Course on Naturalization of the Urban and Industrial Environment, which we directed from Naider, took place. An enriching experience that would not have come to fruition without the contribution of each of the expert lectures, and without the active participation of both on-site and virtual attendees, which included, among others, profiles of architecture, environmental sciences, engineering, economics, and public service.

The course, which took place at the Bizkaia Aretoa-UPV/EHU building in Abandoibarra in Bilbao, analyzed urban and industrial naturalization as a transformative and efficient tool to address climate change and other challenges facing modern society. The program was developed as follows:


09:15 – 09:25 – Presentation by the Management of the activity.

Juan Iglesias Gutiérrez | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Coordinator of Urban Ecology

09:25 – 10:15 – The urban environment and its transforming role in today’s society. PRESENTATION.

Jon introduced us to the course through an exploration of the current urban context, identifying the key challenges facing cities such as climate change, health, and energy transition, among others, and the frameworks to address them: Agenda 2030 and the development of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, sustainable cities and communities.

10:15 – 11:00 – Nature-based solutions, the new urban tool. PRESENTATION

Luís Campos Rodrigues | ENT Environment and Management – Researcher (Participation via Zoom)

Luís introduced us to the most pressing concepts around the naturalization of urban environments. Terms such as nature-based solutions, ecosystem services and green infrastructure are discussed through examples and classifications with reference to the European framework.

11:30 – 12:15 – How to design a green infrastructure network and what influence it has on the city model. PRESENTATION.

Aitor Mingo Bilbao | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Specialist in Cities and Sustainability

Aitor made a conceptual presentation of what green infrastructure really is and how to build this type of network in the territory and in the urban environment. The presentation focused on determining what are the criteria and key elements that constitute a green infrastructure network and what is the contribution of green infrastructure in the new models of sustainable cities that we are building.

12:15 – 13:20 – Naturalization of industrial sites; tools for design (theoretical and practical). PRESENTATION

Haizea Aguirre Puértolas | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Senior Architect

Haizea presented the Naturalization Plan for the Industrial Estates of the Peñas de Aya – Jaizkibel Ecological Corridor in Gipuzkoa. A pioneering document of natural intervention in this sector that was born from the need to use nature and the different types of green and blue infrastructures as elements of renovation and improvement of an industrial environment historically far from the natural environment, and relegated in terms of its business positioning. He also highlighted the incorporation in the plan of a multilevel governance model with the different local and supramunicipal actors and the realization of a financing model to help guide the process of naturalization of industrial estates.

Sara Soloaga Garcés | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Environmentalist and project manager

Sara led the naturalization workshop where attendees had the opportunity to make a proposal for the naturalization of the Jundiz Industrial Park in Vitoria-Gasteiz, discussing the SBN typologies and the place to implement them as a way to apply the concepts learned. Finally, the proposal of each group was shared and ended with a final reflection on the lessons learned during the previous presentations and the practical exercise.


09:00 – 09:15 – Presentation by the Management of the activity.

Juan Iglesias Gutiérrez | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Urban Ecology Coordinator

09:15 – 10:00 – Best practices of Naturalization in Basque municipalities. The role of Udalsarea 2030. PRESENTATION

Ainhize Butron Mota | Ihobe – Climate Action Technique

Ainhize told us about the work that IHOBE and Udalsarea 2030 have been doing to promote Nature-Based Solutions. She revealed to us how technical rigor must be applied so that naturalization can reach its full potential and provide as many ecosystem benefits as it is supposed to.

10:00 – 10:45 – Naturalization as a mechanism for the revitalization of industrial spaces. Some practices in the Basque Autonomous Community. PRESENTATION

Ibon Goiriena Galdona | Sprilur – General Manager at Ibaizabal Behekaldeko Industrialdea

Jesús María Eraña Errasti | Sprilur – Manager at Zarauzko Industrialdea

Sprilur introduced us to the reality of the industrial estates that cover our territory, the different characteristics that govern them, and the difficulty of introducing all the topics that we would like to. However, they also exemplified their work and commitment to sustainability and naturalization in terms of restoration and regeneration of industrial environments, as well as through the inclusion of sustainability criteria for redevelopment and building works.

11:15 – 12:45 – Round Table: Naturalization in the strategic design of the city.

Juan Iglesias Gutiérrez | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Urban Ecology Coordinator (Moderator)

Juan Vilela Lozano | CEA, Environmental Studies Center of the City Council of Gasteiz – Project Manager. PRESENTATION

Juan made a brief review of the historical commitment of the capital of Alava to sustainability and naturalization to delve into the new strategies, projects and ambitions in which the city is immersed, with the Jundiz industrial estate as an example of the process of naturalization and generation of a green infrastructure network.

Ana Juaristi Arrieta | Donostia City Council – Head of Environmental Health and Sustainability Service. PRESENTATION

Ana presented the different works carried out in the capital of Gipuzkoa in terms of green infrastructure as a measure for adaptation to climate change. She presented several examples of direct application and told us how this process is approached and the ambition and enthusiasm it generates in the city council.

Mikel González Vara | Bilbao City Council – Head of the Environment Area. PRESENTATION

Mikel approached the presentation by highlighting the transformation process carried out in Bilbao from the industrial era to the current capital based on services as an example of how large-scale urban transformations are possible. He also explained how the City Council is drafting a Green Infrastructure Master Plan while carrying out naturalization actions in different parts of the city.

12:45 – 13:15 – Opportunities to implement naturalization: Cost-Benefit Analysis. PRESENTATION

Jokin Etxebarria | NAIDER, Cities and Territories Strategy – Economy and Innovation Coordinator

Jokin presented the Cost-Benefit methodology and its applicability when evaluating investment projects in nature-based solutions. He began by reviewing its historical applicability in order to contextualize and understand the particularities of the methodology when using it in this type of investments with different environmental and social benefits. He also presented the methodology developed by Naider to carry out this type of analysis to finish with the main conclusions or notes that Naider has been able to obtain from its experience.

Thanks to the University of the Basque Country/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea for their commitment to the Summer Courses, and especially to Javier Balsera and his team for their support and work to make everything perfect.