2017 PTC & FortyX80 Bilbao Mission Trip

2017 PTC and FortyX80 
Bilbao Mission Trip

Bilbao & Pittsburgh: Post Industrial Cities

An Immersive Case Study on Urban Revitalization Through Art, Infrastructure, and Design


Arrival Date: Sunday, September 17
Departure Date: Friday, September 22, 2017

Our first annual international benchmarking mission is now sold out.  This year, we will be traveling to Bilbao, Spain to showcase the impact of art, infrastructure and design on urban economic development.


During this mission, our participants will enjoy first-hand learning opportunities through case studies, direct interaction with thought leaders, and site visits to some of the city’s treasured assets. The trip aims to be a case study on successful urban redevelopment thorough arts, infrastructure, and design, as well as a lesson on how to build inclusive community support for critical projects.

The Bilbao Effect:

Bilbao, Spain is an urban success story. It’s a city that suffered an economic crisis in 1973 followed by catastrophic flood 10 years later. Yet, the people banded together to reinvent the city into a hub for art, tourism, and culture, and now Bilbao is a global reference in city transformation. As a port town located on the Bay of Biscay (Golfo de Vizcaya,) in the Basque Country of Northern Spain, Bilbao was once a hub for the steel, iron, and the shipbuilding industries.  Like Pittsburgh, it fell on hard economic times and had to look to new industries to reinvent itself.


Agenda Highlights 

  • Overview of the history and heritage of Bilbao
  • Exploration of the City’s Revitalization plan - the “Bilbao Effect,” including challenges and opportunities
  • Success stories and case studies in economic development, urban planning, infrastructure, and cultural/art catalysts
  • Bilbao walking tour featuring areas of the city transformation
  • Guggenheim presentation and museum tour
  • Case study of the Zorrotzaurre district
  • Round-Table Discussions with Pittsburgh/Bilbao stakeholders
  • Cruise to the UNESCO World Heritage Vizcaya Bridge


Schedule Overview (Full Agenda Coming Soon)

Saturday, September 16 
o Depart Pittsburgh International Airport
Sunday, September 17
o Arrive in Bilbao 
Monday, September 18 
o Optional day trip to San Sebastian (additional cost)
Tuesday, September 19 
o Bilbao-Pittsburgh Post-Industrial Cities Workshop
o Bilbao City Walking Tour
Wednesday, September 20 
o Meeting with Bilbao Government Officials
o Guggenheim Museum Presentation and Tour
o Zorrozaurre Tour and Presentation
o Roundtable Discussion and Takeaways
o Vizcaya Bridge Cruise
Thursday, September 21 
o Optional day trip to Rioja Wine Region (additional cost)

Who Should Attend?

Professionals who are interested in learning more about the economic development benefits of arts, infrastructure and design will be encouraged to apply.  We anticipate our mission to include representatives from the business community, arts and cultural non-profits, and from policy makers and funders.


Applications will be accepted from Pittsburgh Technology Council members, creative industries, technology businesses, non-profits/arts and cultural organizations, manufacturers, and representatives from Pittsburgh area economic development organizations.


Apply Today!


Program Cost: $299 plus the cost of travel and lodging

Optional Pre and Post Excursions: Prices TBD

Recommended Travel and Lodging

For greatest savings, we recommend that you book your air/hotel travel package through Expedia.com.  


The PTC staff is booked at the Barceló Bilbao Nervión hotel through Expedia. The hotel is situated in the heart of Bilbao, next to the Town Hall and a 10 minute walk from the Guggenheim Museum, surrounded by the best areas for shopping and tasting the famous "pintxos". Perfectly connected to the train station, Termibus station and the airport, it is the perfect hotel for business trips or urban tourism.


Please contact Monica Takacs at mtakacs@pghtech.org for more information.

Thank you to Our Architectural Walking Tour Sponsor:

*You may need to create an online account if you are a new user.


For the complete agenda, or if you have any other questions related to this mission trip, please contact Monica Takacs at 412-600-7697 or mtakacs@pghtech.org. Agenda items are subject to change.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring this trip, please contact Carolyn Candebat at 412-918-4244 or ccandebat@pghtech.org

9/17/2017 - 9/22/2017
Bilbao, Spain

Sign In