The Basque Declaration outlines 15 pathways for European Cities and Towns to create productive, sustainable and resilient cities for a liveable and inclusive Europe. These pathways are divided into three categories of transformation: socio-cultural, socio-economic and technological. The Basque Declaration aims to show local and regional governments and other stakeholders how societies can be transformed by combining different pathways.
The Basque Declaration can be actively endorsed here. The document was adopted by the over 800 participants of the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns held in the Basque Country from 27-29 April 2016, and is framed within the Aalborg process, which started with the Aalborg Charter (1994) and continued with the Aalborg Commitments (2004).
Transformative Actions implemented by cities, towns, regions and organisations are available at the European Sustainable Cities Platform.
The Socio-Cultural Transformation
1. We will develop a “culture of sustainability” based on equal access to municipal services for all citizens regardless of their age, religious affiliation, ethnic identity or gender, and reflect this particularly in our budgeting and educational systems.
2. We will actively involve our citizens and go beyond participatory planning into participatory
implementation by supporting and using new approaches like co-production, co-design and co-innovation
3. We will re-think the boundaries between public and private services, activities and tasks, and seek to encourage local private and civic engagement
4. We will promote social innovation, social enterprises and civic engagement that support the education, training and social inclusion of marginalised groups and immigrants
5. We will nurture the “sharing economy”, “collaborative economy” or “civic economy” and other approaches that combine the ideas of entrepreneurship, civic engagement and societal transformation
The Socio-Economic Transformation
1. We will turn the challenges in front of us into opportunities for our local economies in key areas such as decentralised renewable energy production, local food production, innovative transportation concepts, new approaches to social services and many other innovations
2. We will create and close local value chains, facilitate innovative cooperation of businesses in order to capture local and regional value, create small scale local investment opportunities and jobs, and to increase the public income
3. We will apply innovative approaches to financing including such as crowd-funding, cooperative financing or the blending of public and civic funding, or complimentary currencies
4. We will purchase products and services with high environmental performance and take into account the social and economic impacts of a purchasing decision
5. We will pursue the development towards a circular economy to reduce the need for natural resource consumption and the production of waste
The Technological Transformation
1. We will wisely select and apply new and smart technologies that support the necessary socio-cultural and socio-economic transformations and serve the interest of the citizens and the public good
2. We will use public procurement as an instrument to accelerate the market introduction of innovative and sustainable technologies, and will ensure that their application is demand driven, and enables decentralised local solutions to the challenges we face
3. We will address the digital divide in our local societies and provide the appropriate infrastructure and support needed for all groups to have equal access to information and digital services
4. We will support open data standards and take care that collected public data will not be controlled by private actors, but remain available for our local governments in order to improve our policies and services for the citizens
5. We will prepare our policies, our public management and governance systems as well as our urban societies for the socio-cultural changes that are triggered by innovative and smart technologies in order to maximise the positive impacts