Urban Psychology

Since 2021, the Bilbao Metropoli 30 Association has been working on the URBAN PSYCHOLOGY initiative, with the collaboration of the College of Psychology of Bizkaia, the University of the Basque Country, the University of Deusto, UNED Bizkaia and Mondragon Unibertsitatea.

The main objective of the initiative is to measure the emotional state of Metropolitan Bilbao, as a collective entity, as well as its self-efficacy and the coping mechanisms it has in the face of the health, social and economic crisis.

The design of the environments in which we live must be done from a more holistic approach, which combines the visions and experiences not only of those who work in the physical hardware of the city, urban planning and design, architecture… but also of those who care about the intangible and soft aspects.

It is necessary to develop a sensory and emotional study of the urban world, so that we can better understand the vital experience and emotional life of the city and its impact on the well-being and psychological state of people. This is the reason why this project has been launched.

In 2022, a perception survey was carried out that helped provide a first assessment of the emotional state of our metropolis after the pandemic.

Survey report on the emotional state of our metropolis (in Spanish)

Conferencia Urban Psychology

In 2023, the project continues and a new measurement of citizenship is carried out through a study, in collaboration with the initial partners as well as EDE Fundazioa, in order to identify the spaces in the metropolis that have a positive impact on emotional well-being of people in Bilbao and its metropolitan area and, through the conclusions obtained, define a series of strategic lines of action to improve the urban habitat. In a first quantitative phase, we have collected information through an online questionnaire. Currently, we are addressing a second qualitative phase in which we are counting on the collaboration of the mayors and other municipal representatives, in meetings divided by regions, in order to know their expert and strategic vision on this issue.

Specific objectives

This project wants to expand knowledge of the factors that can help make cities more liveable and, ultimately, provide tools to improve the design of their public spaces. More specifically, the study proposes:

  • Delve into the emotional life of the city, knowing the experience of the people who live there
  • Identify and describe those places in Bilbao and its metropolitan area that contribute positively to your well-being and/or can promote the development of emotional intelligence (places of peace, self-knowledge, empathy, connection, healing, motivation, trust, security, identity…)

Urban Psychology: de la psicología al diseño urbano