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The British architect Norman Fosters has been awarded with the Price Prince of Asturias of the Arts 2009, in recognition of his career. Norman Foster and his team, involved in ambitious projects such as Wembley Stadium, in the United Kingdom or the restoration of the Reichstag building in Germany, were responsible for the design of the Metro of Bilbao.
His commitment with the noblest values of the architecture, his open attitude to the innovation, his interest in applying the advances in technology, the global dimension of his profession and his sensitivity to the principles of sustainable development, make Norman Foster fair winner of this award.
The jury, chaired by José Lladó and Fernández-Urrutia, has highlighted the work of Fosters as an example of universal reach, which combines the aesthetic, intellectual reflection and dialogue between territory and citizenship, through an original mastery of space, light and matter.
Bilbao is one of the cities chosen to be part of the Universal Expo of Shangai as an example of transformation through the urban renewal of the environment of the estuary, known as the "Guggenheim effect". Bilbao has been selected between 113 nominations and will be there, along with Barcelona, in the area of Best Urban Practices. Two other Spanish cities, Madrid and Santiago de Compostela, will go to the event to show how they have applied the criteria of sustainability for construction. The Mayor of Bilbao, Iñaki Azkuna, explained that the International Committee has taken into account the “amazing recovery” of Bilbao, from an industrial area to the conversion into a modern and comfortable city.
Better city, better live is theme of Shangai Expo 2010, which will be focus on the quality of urban life and on the challenges posed by large cities in the future and the unstoppable urban growth into the 21st century.
The project about Bilbao gives a good sample of the urban revolution experienced in the city over the past 25 years, part of a wide set of initiatives integrated with an intelligent vision, focused on transforming Bilbao through the estuary, the arts, the recovery of the Historical Centre and the conversion of an industrial economy in another more diversified and focused on the services sector.
“The image of the city has changed in a radical way, both in the outside like among the people of Bilbao, of which an 84% value positive or very positive the change experimented by the city”, explained Azkuna.