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Spanish Urban Agenda


The Agenda is a strategic document, non-regulatory in nature, which is imbued with pragmatic approaches that are intended to be useful and, of course, consensual. It opts for a desirable urban model for the future and aims to set the standard for a new vision of Urban Planning that could be called 1.0. It will be imperfect and will undoubtedly require successive improved versions, 2.0, 3.0, etc., and this will be possible as long as the various public and private actors incorporate effective implementation processes and mechanisms and reveal how much and which of its content is improvable and desirable.

The Spanish Urban Agenda contains:

  1. A  diagnosis  of urban and rural reality that spans from the urban model to the population and the territory, including the economy and society, the environment, climate change and energy, mobility, housing and intervention instruments.
  2. A  strategic framework  structured into a Decalogue of Goals that, in turn, contain a total of 30 specific goals, with their possible guidelines.
  3.  A  system of indicators that can be used to evaluate and track compliance with the goals.
  4. Some fact sheets illustrating how action plans can be drawn up to implement the AUE and
  5. An  Action Plan for the national government with specific proposals that fall under the purview of the State's powers.

Territorial Diagnosis and Summary

The  Diagnosis  document is particularly useful, as it provides an objective analysis of the reality by considering the most varied topics (which range from demographic changes and depopulation of rural areas to mobility, including urban metabolism and governance issues) and identifying the main problems that threaten the sustainability of Spain's urban model.

Strategic framework and Territorial and Urban Model

The New Urban Agenda of the United Nations illustrates the integrated approaches that the simultaneous concept (environmental, social and economic) of sustainability requires. They can also be easily extracted when analysing the Action Plans that have emerged during the implementation of the European Union's Urban Agenda. In the same terms, the Spanish Urban Agenda is based on the necessary commitment to a comprehensive vision of the territorial component and to defending the concept of variable geography with respect to strategies, because it is the vector of the strategy itself that defines the territorial scope, not the other way around.

Thus, the goals of this Agenda are broad and ambitious, as evidenced by this strategic framework, which consists of a set of goals to be achieved and a list of possible lines of action to be implemented by each of the stakeholders that wish to commit to the Agenda.

The territorial and urban model that the Agenda is committed to is inspired by the principle of sustainable territorial and urban development that is laid out in the Spanish law on land and urban rehabilitation (article 3 of the TRLSRU), and which is already contained in numerous regional urban development laws, but renewed and expanded. This is a necessary principle for the expected economic, ecological, social and cultural transition of cities, and also for redefining a production model that is proposed from the urban point of view. It is a model that can also be applied in any type of territory and town, regardless of its scale and problems, because the theoretical framework, objectives and principles can be the same in any territorial or urban reality open to planning, revision or transformation. What will change will be the technical, economic/financial, regulatory, organisational/institutional and educational/cultural instruments, as these will need to be adapted to each reality and context. But the principles and grounds for action will be shared.

Focusing on the goals, principles and characteristic values that comprise the commitment of the Spanish Urban Agenda, its strategic framework can be structured by identifying a set of top-level goals, which in turn contain 30 specific goals that rely on more specific aspects, and which contribute to achieving the ten main goals. All of these are accompanied by a series of guidelines that provide possible alternatives for achieving each of the goals proposed, while at the same time offering to the last stakeholders of the Agenda practical aspects to aid in their implementation.

Tracking and evaluation indicators

The set of  tracking and evaluation indicators  proposed in the Spanish Urban Agenda are associated with each of the specific goals that implement the strategic goals of the agenda. These indicators are adapted to the starting situation and the context of each city and urban areas, and can be used to establish the level of improvement that is sought through the planned measures and actions.

The aim is to ensure the highest compatibility and coordination with the indicators used in the various urban strategies and projects currently being implemented by Local Bodies in each of the thematic areas linked to the various specific goals. They make up a set of comparable and aggregable indicators that will allow Spain to satisfy its reporting requirements under the international Agendas and will allow for an analysis and evaluation at the supramunicipal level.

This indicator system  will be used to clearly define the results that will be achieved through the application of the Spanish Urban Agenda  in terms of improving the quality of life and urban sustainability, and of preparing cities to face future challenges.

AUE - Spanish Urban Agenda

The Spanish Urban Agenda is inspiring and transversal and contains proposals to preserve the best version of Spain's traditional towns and cities, their architecture and culture and their ways of life, but improved and updated for 21st-century society.