Skip to main content




Otxarkoaga is a bordering neighborhood of Bilbao that was built between 1959 and 1961 to provide housing for families of workers that had immigrated to Bilbao and lived in shacks. 3670 homes were built without any urban planning and with very poor quality materials and workforce. The neighborhood today has great architectural deficiencies and much to deal with in socio-urban aspects.

The European Union launched a program to subsidize experimental research projects about vulnerable and conflictive neighborhoods. In this context, Createlli joined the P [auzoa] and ActFrontage projects to develop an integral research of solutions for Otxarkoaga.


The first phase of the study process, designed and managed by Createlli, is an analysis of real social needs that will establish the specific urban and architectural solutions to investigate.

For this, both face-to-face media (interviews with neighbors in the Otxarkoaga neighborhood) and digital surveys are used to gather the opinions, needs and proposals of the neighbors.

Three are the main themes:

  • • Housing and the neighbourhood
  • • Commerce and Micro Equipments
  • • Public space and Mobility

Neighbors’ opinions are reflected in an extensive report that will set the guidelines for the next phase: the fourth year students of the UPV / EHU School of Architecture will rely on the conclusions of this report to make theoretical and daring proposals to improve the Neighborhood life The idea is to propose microurban interventions and study different solutions that allow introducing new services and elements that improve everyday life. The project would cover both the private and public spheres and that require relatively few material resources. Then, expanding to a collaborative study, concrete solutions will be proposed. Then, expanding to a collaborative study, concrete solutions will be proposed.

The process ends with a series of technical proposals that based on the previous study and being economically viable will offer possible solutions to the neighborhood. These proposals would ideally be applied in other realities similar to those of Otxarkoaga.


The balance of the participation phase was positive, since almost 200 people participated in the digital surveys and also the personal interviews offered a lot of content.

The neighbors were critical about Otxarkoaga but at the same time looking forward to seeing the ideas that a theoretical and ambitious program could offer. Some specific proposals were made related to each of the themes that were discussed. Related to housing and neighborhood, people suggested there should be more social housing for young people and better accesses to the Civic Center. When talking about the public space, some people proposed new pedestrian connection between different points of the neighborhood. One of the proposals that was more redundant is that the former Lope de Vega school's building should be re-used for another public use. 

After the collaborative study is done at the hands of the students and technicians, the proposals will be presented to the neighbors.