Introduction

The International Conference on Urban Growth and the Circular Economy was held for the first time in 2018 in Alicante. Following its success, it was decided to reconvene the event in Bilbao, Spain, in 2020.

The quest for the sustainable city has until recently focused on the efficient use of resources with the application of technical advances giving rise to the definition of SMART Cities. The economic model emphasised, however, is still “linear” in the sense that the design and consumption follow the pattern of extraction of natural resources, manufacturing, product usage and waste disposal.

The continuous growth of the urban population has recently given rise to the emergence of a new model which responds better to the challenges of natural resource depletion as well as waste management. This model has been called the “circular economy”.

The circular economy is a recent concept based on the reuse of what up to now has been considered wastes, reintroducing them into the production cycle. The objective of the circular economy is to reduce consumption and achieve savings in terms of raw materials, water and energy, thus contributing to the preservation of resources in order to reach sustainable development.

With its roots in environmental economics, the idea of the circular economy is to implement the life cycle of products, services, waste, materials and energy. The concept needs to be embedded not only in the original design but also in all process phases and during production, which ought to be as efficient as possible.

One of the most important of these resources is water which is becoming a scarce commodity in an ever-expanding world whose population demands a better standard of living. Water is required for agricultural purposes as well as by industry, in addition to its use by the general population. The recycling of water is an essential component of the circular economy.

Closely associated with the concept of the sustainable city and the circular economy is the need to develop networks, not only within the city itself but also across other city regions to ensure governance based on cooperation.

There is no possibility for the success of a long term economic policy without addressing the problems of natural resources and environmental pollution, which will affect the reuse of materials and products.

The current market economy based on a linear model from resource extraction, manufacturing, consumption and waste disposal, has not proved a long term suitable solution, in spite of the substantial efforts made in reducing its environmental impacts. This is largely due to the continuous population growth, in a society that demands high standards of living, thus requiring an ever-increasing share of natural resources.

The basis of the circular economy can be summarised as follows:

  • Eco-consumption: It starts with the evaluation of the possible environmental impacts of the process.
  • Industrial Ecology: The industrial phase is based on the principle of optimisation of components, the flow of materials, energy and services.
  • Economic Functionality: The process gives more importance to use than possession; ie to the sale of services rather than goods.
  • Reuse: Aim to use waste to create new products. This phase also involves the repairs, recycling and value-added procedures to prolong the life of any given products or services.

The achievement of the goals proposed by the circular economy requires the cooperation of the community, as well as technological changes and advances.

The need to base suitable development on the environmental, economic and social points of view, demands an integrated approach to solve the city problems including planning and development.

Conference Topics

The following list covers some of the topics to be presented at Urban Growth 2020. Papers on other subjects related to the objectives of the conference are also welcome.

  • Infrastructure and eco-architecture
  • Green urban areas
  • Landscape and planning
  • City heritage and its regeneration
  • Quality of life
  • Urban transport
  • Energy systems
  • Water reuse
  • Air contamination
  • Water pollution
  • Waste management and recycling
  • Noise pollution
  • Waste water systems
  • Risk analysis
  • Recreation in the city
  • Coastal cities
  • Socio-economic issues
  • Law and regulation
  • Production of goods and services
  • Consumption issues
  • New design practices
  • Smart technologies
  • Mobility in the city
  • Safety aspects
  • Smart habitats
  • Systems resilience
  • City governance
  • Community participation
  • Water heritage protection
  • Circular economy at city level
  • Case studies

Benefits of Attending

USB Drive

Delegates will receive a USB drive at the conference containing the presented papers.

Publication

Papers presented at Urban Growth 2020 are to be published in a Volume of WIT Transactions on on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509). The publication will be available in both electronic and hard copy.

Indexing

The WIT Transactions are DOI registered with CrossRef and are currently listed in indexing services such as Scopus and Google Scholar, as well as being submitted to the Web of Science. All conference books are listed in the British Library and American Library of Congress.

Open Access and Digital Archive

All conference papers are archived permanently on our electronic library where they can be downloaded for free (www.witpress.com/elibrary).

Peer review

To ensure the quality of our publications, abstracts and papers are double peer-reviewed by members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee and other experts, with manuscripts processed through CrossRef Similarity Check to screen for plagiarism.

Reduced Fee for PhD Students

The Wessex Institute believes in the importance of encouraging PhD students to present and publish innovative research at its conferences. As a result, the Institute offers PhD students a much-reduced conference fee.

Networking

Participants can present their research and interact with experts from around the world, as part of a unique community.

Journal publication opportunity

After the conference, delegates will be invited to submit an enhanced version of the conference paper to the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning (ISSN: 1743-7601; Digital ISSN: 1743-761X).

Publication of Papers

Peer review

To ensure the quality of our publications, abstracts and papers are double peer-reviewed by members of the International Scientific Advisory Committee and other experts, with manuscripts processed through CrossRef Similarity Check to screen for plagiarism.

Publication

Papers presented at Urban Growth 2020 are to be published in a Volume of WIT Transactions on on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509). The publication will be available in both electronic and hard copy.

Indexing

The WIT Transactions are DOI registered with CrossRef and are currently listed in indexing services such as Scopus and Google Scholar, as well as being submitted to the Web of Science. All conference books are listed in the British Library and American Library of Congress.

Open Access and Digital Archive

All conference papers are archived permanently on our electronic library where they can be downloaded for free (www.witpress.com/elibrary).

Journal publication opportunity

After the conference, delegates will be invited to submit an enhanced version of the conference paper to the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning (ISSN: 1743-7601; Digital ISSN: 1743-761X).

Location Information

Located in North-East Spain, Bilbao finds itself between the Cantabrian Sea and the Basque Mountains. The Bilbao estuary runs across the city, adding to the already beautiful landscape. Once an industrial hub, Bilbao is now a sophisticated city that is constantly evolving, known for its architectural allure and vibrant culture. The city mixes old and new, from a neo-baroque theatre, an art nouveau train station and several spectacular cathedrals to Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the Zubizuri Bridge, and the Azkuna Zentroa cultural centre.

Gastronomy enthusiasts will find an abundance of restaurants and be able to discover and enjoy the famous Basque cuisine; the city has several Michelin Star awarded restaurants, pintxo bars, traditional taverns and cider restaurants.

The city is compact and most attractions are within walking distance of each other. The city also has an extensive public transport system and metro, tram and bus services are available. The metro system was designed by Sir Norman Foster, and appears rather futuristic despite being built in 1988.

Bilbao has a number of museums, the most notable being the Guggenheim Museum which is to be the main attraction in Bilbao. The museum was designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry, and opened to the public in 1997. The building is wrapped in titanium panels, look like the scales of a fish, which are said to have been inspired by Gehry’s childhood fascination with fish. The titanium panels also have another purpose, to capture light. This means that the building takes on another appearance at night when the city lights reflect off its surface. The shape of the building resembles a ship when viewed from the river.

The Casco Viejo, or Old Town, is known locally as “las 7 calles” in Spanish or “Zazpi Kaleak” in Basque meaning ‘the seven streets’, since these were the seven streets that formed the original medieval town. Today, the Casco Viejo is still the heart of the city; it is a charming, compact area of Bilbao that has a selection of bars and independent shops.

A short journey on the metro will take you to the north of Bilbao and to the town of Getxo, located next to the town of Portugalete, which are separated by the Nervion River. Both towns are connected by the famous Vizcaya Bridge, which is known to the locals as Puente Colgante or "hanging bridge". This transporter bridge, built in 1893, was able to move people and goods back and forth without obstructing the path of ships, something completely new for the time. In 2006, the bridge was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, Getxo is home to five beaches and impressive mansions.

Travel Information

Conference Venue Address:

Hotel Gran Bilbao
Prieto Indalecio Hiribidea, 1
48004 Bilbo
Bizkaia
Spain

Bilbao International Airport

This airport is located 14km from the conference venue and has great connections other Spanish and European cities. A selection of the airlines serving the airport together with their destinations are listed below:

  • Vueling Airlines – Alicante, Barcelona, Granada, Milan, Porto, Rome, Seville, Valencia
  • Iberia - Madrid
  • KLM – Amsterdam
  • EasyJet – Bristol, London Stansted, Manchester, Nantes
  • Brussels Airlines – Brussels
  • Eurowings – Dusseldorf, Stuttgart
  • Turkish Airlines – Istanbul
  • Lufthansa – Frankfurt, Munich
  • TAP – Lisbon
  • British Airways – London Gatwick
  • Air France – Paris
  • Swiss International Airlines – Zurich

For full information on airlines and destinations from this airport, visit the airport website http://www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/index.html.

Bus and Metro: The airport is connected to the city with a bus that runs from 06:15 to 00:00 every day and departs at 15-minute intervals. The journey takes 20 minutes and the cost is €3. The bus makes four stops after departing the airport, these are Alameda Recalde 11, Moyua Plaza, Gran Via 79 and Termibus (main bus station).

To reach the conference venue, you will need to take the A3247 bus from the airport, departing at Gran Via 79. From here, walk to the Moyua Metro Station (approximately 3-4 minutes) and take the ‘Linea De Metro Bilbao’ to Santutxu Station. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from this station.

For further information visit:

Bus - http://web.bizkaia.eus/es/web/bizkaibus

Metro - https://www.metrobilbao.eus/en

Taxi: There is no need to book this in advance as there are plenty of available taxis outside arrivals. The journey from the airport to the hotel takes around 20 minutes and costs approximately €30.

Car Hire: There are several car hire companies operating within the airport, these are Europcar, Hertz, Enterprise, Avis and Sixt.
When leaving the airport, take the N-633 followed by the BI-631 and take exit 9 onto the N-637 towards Bilbao. Then take exit 14 towards Bilbao. Continue along this road (A-8) and at Federico Moyúa Plaza, take the 2nd exit onto Don Diego López Haroko Kale Nagusia. The Hotel Gran Bilbao will be on your left.

Madrid International Airport

It is possible to take a connecting flight from Madrid International Airport to Bilbao International Airport. However, if you would prefer not to take another flight you can travel to Bilbao by bus or train from Madrid Airport.

Bus: There is a direct bus run by Alsa from Madrid Airport to Bilbao Termibus Station which takes approximately 4.5 hours and costs around €35. There are four departures per day, between the hours of 02:00 and 21:00.

Further information regarding departures and tickets can be found at: https://www.alsa.es/en/home.

Train: There is a train from the Atocha Train Station in the centre of Madrid to Bilbao. This journey takes approximately 5.5 hours. In order to reach the Atocha station from the airport, you will need to take metro line 8 from the airport to Nuevos Ministerios Station. When you reach this station you should walk to Rios Rosos Metro Station which will take approximately 10 minutes and take metro line 1 to Atocha.

For further information, please visit the following websites:

Metro (From Madrid Airport to Atocha Station) - https://www.metromadrid.es/es

Train (from Atocha Station to Bilbao) - https://venta.renfe.com/vol/homeCustomers.do?c=_W7Ls

Barcelona International Airport

It is possible to take a connecting flight from Barcelona International Airport to Bilbao International Airport. However, if you would prefer not to take another flight you can travel to Bilbao by bus or train from Barcelona Airport.

Bus: Buses depart Barcelona to Bilbao from either Barcelona Estacion Nord or Barcelona Sants Stations, the journey takes approximately 8 hours and costs €50 and is run by a company called Alsa. Please see the instructions below which explain the journey from the Airport to the above bus stations. Please visit https://www.alsa.es/en/home for further details.

Airport to Barcelona Sants: To reach the bus station you will need to take the R2 Nord (north) line from the airport to Barcelona Sants. This journey takes 20 minutes and trains depart every 20 minutes and costs €2.20. Once you arrive as Sants Station, the Alsa bus station is located outside the main train station, and the street name is Carrer de Viriat. For further information please visit: http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercanias/barcelona/index.html
Airport to Barcelona Estacion Nord: You should take the A2 bus (Aerobus) from the airport to Pl. Espanya. Buses depart every 10 minutes and cost €5.50, for further information visit: http://www.amb.cat/web/mobilitat/mobilitat/. Now you need to take metro line L1 from Pl. Espanya to Arc de Triomf. From here, walk 180 metres to Estació d'autobusos Barcelona Nord located on Carrer d'Alí Bei, 80, please visit https://www.tmb.cat/en/home for more details.

Train: You can take a train from Barcelona Sants to Bilbao, it takes approximately 7 hours and tickets are around €40. For further information visit: https://venta.renfe.com/vol/homeCustomers.do?c=_0CRq.

Airport to Barcelona Sants: To reach the train station you will need to take the R2 Nord (north) line from the airport to Barcelona Sants. This journey takes 20 minutes and trains depart every 20 minutes and costs €2.20. Further information is available at: http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercanias/barcelona/index.html.

Getting around Bilbao

Getting around in Bilbao is simple. The city centre is compact and easily accessible by foot. The public transport system is extensive, the metro, tram and buses serve the whole of Bilbao as well as nearby towns.

For further information visit:

Bus - http://web.bizkaia.eus/es/web/bizkaibus

Metro - https://www.metrobilbao.eus/en

Please note that all information included above is correct at November 2019. All prices and travel details are subject to change. Prices quoted are for single tickets unless otherwise stated.

Conference Venue

Hotel Gran BilbaoThe conference will take place at the Hotel Gran Bilbao. This modern hotel has 202 rooms, an underground private parking, free WiFi, a restaurant and a bar.

The hotel is only an 8-minute walk from Bilbao old town and well connected by public transport to the city’s tourist attractions.

Conference Venue address:

Hotel Gran Bilbao
Prieto Indalecio Hiribidea, 1
48004 Bilbo
Bizkaia
Spain

Accommodation

WIT has secured a special rate for delegates who wish to book their accommodation at Hotel Gran Bilbao (prices below include buffet breakfast and VAT):

  • 110€ Double room for single use
  • 120€ Double room for double use

In order to benefit from these rates, you must book your accommodation via the hotel website (https://www.hotelgranbilbao.com/) using the code “WESSEX” in the Promo field no later than 25th May 2020. Following these dates, the reservation will be subject to hotel availability and at the general rate (with a 10% discount).

Hotel Gran BilbaoHotel Gran Bilbao RestaurantHotel Gran Bilbao Conference Room

Additional Information

Please use the links below to access additional information related to the conference. All links open in a new window.

Here's what our delegates have to say...


"I very much enjoyed my first overseas conference. The presentations were extremely interesting and there was a great range of topics. The social aspect of the conference allowed for great networking opportunities, and the organisers made us feel welcome from the beginning. I would love to attend another WIT conference if the opportunity arose."

Mel Parnell, UK (attended Air Pollution 2019)



"I found the atmosphere to be relaxed and friendly, with lively intelligent discussion of all topics. Organisation from the beginning to the end was professional and efficient. I found immersion into the pool of knowledge both enlightening and stimulating."

Dene Warren, UK (attended BIM 2019)



"There were interesting presentations and valuable contacts with the conference participants. The conference was organized at a high level."

Aldis Kalpinsh, Latvia (attended CMEM 2019)



"The WIT disaster conference in unique in a way that it brings together practitioners, academics, a hybrid I call "pracademics", as well as consultants, NGOs, and think tank minds. The spirit of the conference reflects the vast fabric of those engaged in and passionate about safety and security of communities and disaster risk reduction writ large. Most importantly, voices of participants come from many corners of the world and lessons shared are truly illuminating."

Magdalena Denham, USA (attended Disaster Management 2019)



"It was a pleasure to have attended the conference. And it is an honour to have this conference as a stepping stone to continue my academic progress and self-improvement."

Amal Gerges, Lebanon (attended ERES 2019)



"The Maritime Transport conference was a great opportunity to discuss about the field with other professionals from different countries. The peer review of each paper guarantees the high quality of the presentations and papers. It is a must-go."

Zaloa Sanchez Varela, Croatia (attended Maritime Transport 2019)



"My contacts with the WIT started in the 1991 conference on Water Pollution. Since then I am participating in several conferences related to fluid flows. Apart of the conferences, in the first years of contact I presented a talk in 1998 at the Wessex Institute on the theme of turbulence influences in gas-liquid mass transfers. Along the subsequent years, it was always a pleasure to take part on the activities of the WIT, and to contact Carlos and the Staff."

Harry Edmar Schulz, Brazil (attended Multiphase Flow 2019)



"This conference allows a group of researchers and engineers from universities and industries to share their knowledge and experience in an environment which allows the attendees with different backgrounds to interact closely. It was a very good experience in this Multiphase Flow 2019 Conference."

Minyee Jiang, USA (attended Multiphase Flow 2019)


"The conferences held by the Wessex Institute are always characterized by a very high quality of participants and presented papers, and by a relaxed atmosphere, ideal for listening carefully and for doing networking. A peculiarity that I personally appreciate very much is the time given to the participants, slightly higher than the average of the other congresses (up to 20-25 minutes per intervention), which allow an exposition rich in details and not hasty."

Marco Bietresato, Italy (attended SAFE 2019)


"The STREMAH Conference 2019 has been my first international conference. Despite being an undergraduate student, just concluded my honours research, the conference gave me a platform to share my research, thus showing its relevance. It also gave me ideas on new and interesting problems to explore. At the same time, the delegates were very interactive, friendly, and open minded. I look forward to being part of more Wessex conferences."

Gilbert Kafuuma, Uganda (attended STREMAH 2019)



"Interdisciplinary and problem oriented event with friendly academic community to run the event as well as participate in it. Healthy mixture of people representing universities, business companies and community authorities gives additional flavour and grounding to matters discussed."

Robert K. Barelkowski, Poland (attended Sustainable City 2019)



"I have had a very good experience. I think that the idea of an institute that is interested in the communication and exchange of technological aspects of innovation, development, adaptation and transfer of methods and techniques is important for the development of similar institutions and the society that created them, as they put technology at the service of people, perhaps not independently, but differently from the institutes that serve large companies or corporations that, as we say in Mexico, are cooked separately, in terms of budgets, means of communication and scope."

Alfonso Banderas, Mexico (attended Water & Society 2019)



"I am keen on the identification of water management issues and scientific, technological and socio-economical solutions to solve those problems. Therefore, this conference was a great opportunity to obtain a first hand experience of addressing the water management issues in global context. In addition the conference was well organized in a professional manner providing friendly environment for discussions and networking with both young and expertise professionals and share knowledge."

G.A.G.Kavindi, Japan (attended Water Resources Management 2019)