The urban regeneration of Olabeaga is one of BILBAO Ría 2000’s main objectives, which was first established in 2008 with the signing of a protocol between the Ministry of Development, Adif, Bilbao City Council and BILBAO Ría 2000 for the integration of the Bilbao-Santurtzi railway line into the urban area of Olabeaga and other complementary actions in the so-called Cornisa de San Mamés.

However, the intervention in this Bilbao neighbourhood was postponed in 2009 due to the general economic and property situation. Once this situation passed, this operation was activated once again due to circumstances such as the clarification of the Southern Railway Bypass Freight Line or the steps taken by Bilbao City Council to define the urban development of the Olabeaga neighbourhood within the process of revising the General Urban Development Plan.

In Olabeaga, BILBAO Ría 2000 has its own land on the former plot of land belonging to the Labein Foundation on which, together with the land occupied by the current railway line, it plans the urban integration action provided for in the revised General Plan.

For that reason, since 2019 there has been an inter-institutional working group with the Ministry of Development, Adif, Bilbao City Council, the Basque Government and BILBAO Ría 2000 itself, in order to carry out various analyses and procedures aimed at making Olabeaga’s ambitious action possible, the development of which will take place over a period of several years.

The first materialisation of the work by this Working Group was the award, in March 2020, of the drafting of the Feasibility Study for the modification of the route of the Cercanías Adif line in Olabeaga and the analysis of the loads and uses foreseen in the planning for the area.



According to the General Plan, the urban development objective for Olabeaga is to promote the neighbourhood to enable its urban regeneration and, to this end, its use for mainly residential purposes, responding to the following objectives:

  • Diversion of the Adif track towards the southern area of the study area, with the aim of freeing up the central space for the new planning, thus eliminating the current barrier posed by the railway track dividing the space in two.
  • Improvement of the area’s connectivity.
  • Organisation of the new planning around a central road.
  • Creation of two new squares overlooking the estuary and a linear park on the edge of the hillside.
  • Review of new local equipment.
  • To strengthen the link between Olabeaga and Zorrotzaurre by means of a pedestrian bridge to supply the Olabeaga district from the island’s future facilities.
  • To contribute to the regeneration of the estuary.
  • Increase in the population density so that the neighbourhood can have certain equipment and facilities.
  • Preliminary estimated investment: 60 M€
  • Total number of houses: about 580, of which 40% will be subsidised.