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Basque Country – Euskadi Lagunkoia

Basque Country – Euskadi Lagunkoia

Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly

Basque Country – Euskadi Lagunkoia  Spain
Print this page City population: 218898527 % over 60Joined Network in 2013

Euskadi is a Spanish autonomous community, located in the northeastern part of the Cantabrian fringe, bordering the north with the Bay of Biscay and France.Integrate the provinces Álava, Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya.

Euskadi Langunkoia –Age-friendly Basque Country – is a cross-cutting initiative that engages citizens, the public and private sectors to create supportive and enabling environments for older people.

Euskadi Langunkoia works with a number of communities across the Basque Country to develop a network of age-friendly communities and facilitate the exchange of good practice between them.

Consultations with older people across the Euskadi Lagunkoia were carried out in 2013-2014, involving: 13 municipalities, 1194 people who answered the questionnaires, 645 people in meetings, and 77 agents (schools, associations, shops, etc).

Some of the most important age-friendly initiatives spearheaded by the EuskadiLagunkoia Programme are:

•    Time Bank: this is an online tool for the exchange of activities and support between citizens.
•    Self-support between neighbours program (AuzokoaLagun): this is a citizens’ initiative that works to promote social fabric of neighborhoods and mutual help among neighbors.
•    Age-friendly shops: this program was created with the aim of including small and large businesses of the neighborhoods in the project, creating a distinctive “We are Friendly” to identify those who commit themselves to participate by making a few small improvements on their premises (ie. have chairs where guests can relax).
•    The Legacy initiative across the Basque Country: This is a project of 12 short videos (5 min aproximately) of older person as transmitters of intangible heritage. You can watch them here:

The Basque country has taken a proactive approach to the WHO Age-friendly cities and communities’ initiative by developing, implemented by the Department of Employment and Social Policies and Matia Institute from 2012. Rallying institutions, agents and individuals to make living spaces more “age-friendly”, where people can live without physical obstacles and barriers is a primary goal.


  • Tapping the potential represented by seniors in the life of villages and cities as welfare generators.
  • Create and promote community participation processes.
  • Create a Network of friendly initiatives.
  • Facilitate the introduction of changes in the environments to improve the quality of life.

During the period of time from 2012 to 2014, has served to drive tools, methodologies and best practices in 15 municipalities of the Basque Country. Matia Institute designed and implemented the process in these municipalities with the involvement of the councils, local agents, associations and citizens. These pilots have served as basis for the preparation of the “Practical guide to implement and use in municipalities” where to provide all Basque municipalities the tools needed to build a friendly territory. Since November 2014, 14 new municipalities are involved. They are working by themselves following the guidance with the advice of Matia Institute.

21 new municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia (total 36 in June 2016):

Pilot municipalities New municipalities involved
2012-2014 2015-2016
•Alegría-Dulantzi •Amurrio
•Añana •Antzuola
•Armiñon •Azkoitia
•Berantevilla •Beasain
•Hondarribia •Bergara
•Idiazabal •Bilbao
•Iruña de Oca •Campezo
•Kuartango •Donostia-San Sebastián
•Lantaron •Eibar
•Ordizia •Eskoriatza
•Orio •Getxo
•Ribera Alta •Irun
•Valdegobía •Irura
•Zambrana •Legazpi
•Zumarraga •Ormaiztegi

In order to promote and develop the project was established a work plan in collaboration with the Federation of Retirees and Pensioners of the Basque Country (FEDERPEN). In this way, in new municipalities the elderly associations have created self-managed groups for carrying out the qualitative assessment through meetings and citizens forums, promoting empowerment and leadership to older persons.

  • City councils: 36
  • Government Departments: 4
  • Citizens participating in the survey: 2.044
  • Citizens participating in Forums: 420
  • Older Associations: 37
  • Other associations: 49
  • Schools: 24
  • Business: 82
  • Total citizens: 2.464
  • Total stakeholders: 223


  • Euskadi Lagunkoia: Practical Guide to Implement and Use in Municipalities (November 2014)

The guide aims to support all municipalities in Euskadi in the creation of age-friendly cities. The guide documents a pilot project designed to analyse and implement methods of advancing the age-friendliness of territories, as tested in 15 pilot municipalities during 2012-2014.

From November 2014 to April 2016, 11 new municipalities (and the 3 capitals) are involved in the Basque Country following the Guide to implement the project. National distribution by Euskadi Lagunkoia’s web, Age-Friendly Cities Spain Network, Matia Foundation, SIIS, Aging Network (CSIC), Pilares Foundation. Spanish downloads: 1.614, Basque Downloads: 390.

This document has been translated into English with the compliments of the City of Unley, South Australia in December 2015 for international distribution by International Longevity Center, World Health Organization, International Federation on Ageing and Age-Friendly Europe. English downloads: 235

Total downloads: 2.257


  • Euskadi Lagunkoia: Age-friendly Business Guide

Euskadi Lagunkoia has released Age-friendly Business Guide to promote the development of inclusive communities in the Basque Country.  The initiative provides educational and self-assessment materials to participating businesses to facilitate development.  Information also includes how businesses can provide quality service for older adults that are affected by loss of mobility, vision and hearing impairments and dementia. The educational course was piloted in 6 municipalities and 82 businesses involved. During 2016 with the collaboration of Commerce Department and the Trade Offices (34), we are planning courses around all the Basque Country. The guide is currently available in Spanish and Basque languages and is going to be translated into Portuguese (ILC Brasil) and English (City of Unley, Australia) for its distribution and international use.

Spanish downloads: 1.600, Basque Downloads: 475. Total : 2.075


  • Euskadi Lagunkoia: Dementia Friendly Community Guide

Dementia Friendly Guide aims citizen awareness and guidelines on how to help people with dementia in their daily life. The Guide was launched with the collaboration of the Alzheimer Associations of the Basque Country on the World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21st, 2015). This guide was distributed in all municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia (social centres, health centres, cultural centres, etc.) and other municipalities and stakeholders interested. 16.850 guides are distributed in hard copy and 80 online.



  • Time Bank: To promote communication and mutual support among neighbours and time swap. 1 town involved.

  • Age-Friendly places: Working groups led by people of all ages in order to detect improvement proposals, recover public spaces, encourage citizen participation and strengthen social networks in the neighbourhood. Supplemented for mapping places by citizenship. 1 town 23 participants.

  • Legacy: Intangible cultural heritage transmission by the older people. 12 (9 online) documentary videos (5’). 2646 views.


  • Web platform Euskadi Lagunkoia ( With the aims to share good practices, documents, guides and news; and to promote the participation 2.0 by the blog section, Bank of time and AF Mapping. Google analylitics 2015: Sessions: 6.303, Users: 4.935, Viewed pages: 19.726.

For more information on Euskadi Lagunkoia, please visit the website (in Basque and Spanish language). You can also contact us directly for more information using the contact form below.

Euskadi Lagunkoia – Age-Friendly practices

Commitment Letter
Baseline Assessment
Strategy and Action Plan