Xabier Arruza – Founder and Manager of Bilbao Urban & Cities Design Group

Founder and Manager of Bilbao Urban & Cities Design Group

Xabier Arruza is an economist specialized in the design of urban economic strategies and development of new businesses, especially related to the green economy sector.

With more than 15 years of experience in the public sector, first in the European Business and Innovation Center of Bizkaia – BEAZ and later in the Bilbao City Council and its Development Agency – Bilbao Ekintza.

In this second stage he worked closely to the urban transformation process of the Metropolitan area of Bilbao, especially with regard to economic strategies.

Perfect connoisseur of the entire urban regeneration process of the Bilbao Metropolitan area, he was until 2017 in charge of the design and implementation of the public strategy to promote the Cleantech activity sector and Urban Solutions for the Development Agency of Bilbao and the design of projects related to climate change, circular economy and energy efficiency.

With proven ability to generate collaborative projects and experience in the search for international business opportunities, he assumes now the role of coordinator of the “Bilbao Urban & Cities Design” Group (BUCD).

During 2018, he also assumed the role of advisor for the Municipality of Barakaldo which is the second largest (100,000 inhabitants) of the Bilbao Metropolitan area and also the protagonist of the urban regeneration process. At the moment, work is being done on the smart specialization design of the municipality.

Bilbao Urban & Cities Design is a project born from the experience acquired during the fascinating process of urban transformation of the Metropolitan Area of Bilbao and founded by some of the best professionals who participated in it, with the main objective of Reimagine, Rethink and Redesign


Metropolitan Cities and Areas from an urban, sustainable, economic, cultural and social point of view.

Through this entity, in recent years he has been a regular lecturer in Congresses related to Smart Cities, like Smart Cities India Expo, Smart Cities Conclave and Awards organized by Businnes World, Smart Cities Summit FICCI 2019, Apex Conference of Smart City CEOS 2019 ,“Ciudades y Comunidades Sostenibles del Perú 2019 and 2021, “Expo Agua 2019” in Lima , Ecomonic Times Smart Cities Forum 2020 or “India Calling Conference 2020 and 2021,

He is also the author of different articles for international medias related to urban transformation strategies for publications such as BW Smart Cities, Energy Next magazine, the WTC publication “On Trade” or IMC Journal among others.

And related to international business and consultancy he is carrying now on behalf (BUCD), “RETHINKING CITIES PROJECT” , in order to seek new frameworks of work and cooperation for the partners of “Bilbao Urban & Cities Design” in the field of urban solutions in three emerging markets such as India, Peru, Chile and the Philippines,

Traveler, curious and good food lover, he founded Basqvium company with the aim of opening up to the world the benefits of the Basque Country, still very unknown at the international level, where gastronomy and wines shine with their own light, as well as a vibrant cultural scene.

Among all the projects developed, it highlights Basque gastronomy project developed in Singapore – The Alkaff Mansion -, together with one of the most important hospitality groups in the country; first step for the international implementation of the Basque Gatroembassy concept.


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