Alexander Boto highlights the actions of Urban Klima 2050 to move towards “an urban and peri-urban model that gives more space to nature and people”


In the “Building a New City Concept” report published in Equipamientos y Servicios Municipales magazine, the General Manager of Ihobe explains the Basque Country’s commitment to new urban planning that promotes climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“The city of the future we envision at Ihobe is predominantly green”. This is how Alexander Boto sums up the Basque Country’s commitment to moving forward with new urban planning that will become an essential tool for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The General Manager of Ihobe, the Basque Government’s Public Environmental Management Company, is one of the experts, together with Ángela Baldellou, Director of the 2030 Observatory of the CSCAE (Spain’s Higher Council of Architects Associations), who has taken part in the “Building a New City Concept” report published in the latest issue of Equipamiento y Servicios Municipales magazine.

In the interview, Boto stresses that “urban planning must guarantee a reconversion towards an urban and peri-urban model in which more space is given to nature and people and a good quality of life is guaranteed, especially for the most vulnerable groups”. As an example, the General Manager of Ihobe mentions actions implemented by the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, of which the Ihobe is a coordinating partner. In particular, he highlights scalable pilot projects based on empowerment, training and the creation of structures for climate governance. “We firmly believe in the power of people, and we are therefore also committed to creating climate-aware citizens who take action. With that goal in mind, we are developing different types of citizen empowerment plans and deploying experiences to communicate and raise awareness of the importance of mitigating climate change and adapting our region,” he explains in the interview.

The General Manager of Ihobe also mentions the need for “green infrastructure and natural solutions as a generalised priority alternative”. He also calls for greener cities that are “permeable to nature, that enjoy a friendlier transition between the urban and the natural environment and vegetation”. Boto also talks about more sustainable building that increases energy efficiency and reduces energy consumption. He also calls for a shift away from private vehicles and a commitment to circular economy. Finally, he calls for more inclusive cities to be designed with the most vulnerable groups in mind.

The road to healthier cities

The third quarterly issue of Equipamiento y Servicios Municipales magazine takes a closer look at healthier cities with Estibaliz Sanz, researcher at the Basque Centre of Climate Change (BC3), one of the partners of Urban Klima 2050.

In the article called “Urban Renaturalisation: the Road to Healthier and More Resilient Cities”, Estibaliz Sanz highlights the need to introduce natural elements in urban environments, such as planting trees, creating green areas, natural spaces, parks, restoring rivers and promoting biodiversity to respond to different urban challenges such as climate change, food safety and health. BC3 is working on Urban Klima 2050 Action C.3.1: the mainstreaming climate change into health policies.