Bilbao has just received another international recognition for its ability to “develop and attract talent.” The Global City Report 2010 -a ranking made by a major Italian business group- ranks the city of Bilbao as the third most innovative in the world, behind London and Chicago. The classification is based on the analysis of four areas: technology, environmental care, cultural attractions and architecture. The last two are the strengths of Bilbao, in the opinion of the authors of the study, Bilbao has managed to transform itself at a good rhythm without sacrificing its tradition.

In the year of the Shanghai World Expo and the ´Nobel´ Prize for cities, awarded by the Singapore authorities, the name of Bilbao has also been heard in Milan, where last Tuesday were presented the findings of the report. The Global City Report is signed by two prestigious organizations in Italy: Generali SGR real estate division, a leading banking and insurance company in the country, and the independent research institute Scenari Immobiliari.

A “smart” change

This time the research was focused on innovation, but not exclusively linked to technological advances. If so Bilbao would not have been highlighted, since in this paragraph it is ranked in the last place of a select club of twenty cities. What it is valued is “the rapid and consistent evolution´ of populations, their efforts to build economic and social fabric to attract “new residents, new businesses and, above all, creative talent”. The diagnosis has been addressed in a global scope and with very specific indicators that goes from the introduction of the Internet to transport networks and concert agenda.

Bilbao has shown its dynamism in this long-distance race. The merits attributed to it are the same that have made it win other awards. In the cultural field it won the third place, only behind Paris and Berlin, thanks to the brilliance of titanium. “It managed to transform its urban and industrial city image and reborn around the Guggenheim Museum, which has become a symbol of the city and the contemporary architecture,” the report reads. It is even more enthusiastic the reference to urban development, although in this section it ranks seventh. “Bilbao is considered in Europe as a model of intelligent conversion,” they say. “In less than twenty years it has come from being an industrial port city to a human scale city, with large green areas.” In the field of sustainability, it lies in the middle of the table. In this regard, as in urban, Toronto is the winner.

Although Bilbao does not impose in all the categories, Bilbao obtains good grades in the general classification, perhaps because it “has managed to integrate perfectly innovation and tradition.” The bronze medal is a good showcase, as this report is used as a working paper by large companies and investors. The study was conducted by two renowned professionals, sociologist Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, author of seminal works on globalization, and Paola Gianasso, Research Institute Scenari Immobiliari.

Source: El Correo Digital