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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: 219971127 % 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.

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.

Euskadi Lagunkoia began in 2012 with the aim of promoting a friendly territory for all ages in the Basque Country. At the end of June 2012, the Department of Employment and Social Affairs invited all the municipalities of the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (CAE) to join the construction of a coherent, participative and sustainable model of governance in the Basque Country, calling for membership of Euskadi Lagunkoia.
The municipalities (13) that responded to the call worked during the first two years of development as pilot experiences with the involvement of town councils, local agents, the associative movement and citizens.

In December 2014, the “Guide for the Implementation and use in municipalities” was presented with the aim of encouraging the rest of the municipalities in the Basque Country to join the friendly movement by offering keys and tools for their adhesion. This document was developed after the pilot work that served to design, analyse and put into practice the methodology and instruments necessary to advance in the friendliness of the territories.
Since the launch of the Guide, new municipalities and the 3 capitals have joined the Euskadi Lagunkoia Network (2016). With the aim of promoting and developing the project, a work plan was established at the end of 2014 in collaboration with the Territorial Federation of Provincial Associations of Pensioners and Retired People of Alava, Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia (FEDERPEN).

In 2017, work began on the compilation of good practices on friendliness and the General Diagnosis Euskadi Lagunkoia was drawn up, analysing the municipalities that had joined up to that point (40). In 2018 the Euskadi Lagunkoia Awards were launched to recognise good practices in the field of friendliness carried out in the Basque Country. At present, the Network has 67 member municipalities.

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:

67 new municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia in January 2021:



Añana Ordizia Bilbao
Armiñon Zumarraga Getxo
Berantevilla Orio Abanto-Zierbena
Erriberagoitia Hondarribia Ea
Gaubea-Valdegovía Idiazabal Bermeo
Iruña Oka Antzuola Durango
Kuartango Eibar Santurtzi
Lantaron Zarautz Larrabetzu
Zambrana Legazpi Abadiño
Campezo Eskoriatza Basauri
Vitoria-Gasteiz Urnieta Lekeitio
Amurrio Urretxu Igorre
Villabuena de Alava Irura Ispaster
Maeztu Beasain Mendexa
Agurain Donostia Ermua
Bernedo Zestoa Portugalete
Alegria – Dulantzi Zaldibia Mungia
Leza Ormaiztegi Balmaseda
Irun Muskiz
Azkoitia Arrigorriaga
Aretxabaleta Barakaldo
Elgoibar Munitibar
Bergara Amoroto
Lasarte-Oria Gizaburuaga




  • 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.


  • Euskadi Lagunkoia: Friendly Housing Guide

This guide is aimed at older people and people in the process of aging, that is, all people, and aims to offer simple and useful information that can be used to assess the needs and give keys for the adaptation of the home to possible situations. This guide was distributed in all municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia.

  • Euskadi Lagunkoia: Dementia-friendly Housing Guide

This guide is aimed at offering some recommendations and possibilities of action oriented to the related behaviors with the dementia that can most often to emerge from inside the home. This guide was distributed in all municipalities involved in Euskadi Lagunkoia. 


  • 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.


  • Conferences: European good practices in friendliness
    • 2017: On November 15, the “European Good Practices in friendliness” Conference was held at the Guggenheim Museum Auditorium in Bilbao. This conference provided the opportunity to learn about different good practices at European and national level in relation to friendliness.Among the participating speakers, the following stand out: Tine Buffel, researcher at the University of Manchester, specializing in issues related to aging and urbanization; Sarah More, international project assistant at the Alzheimer’s Society in the United Kingdom; Sarah Dury, PhD in Social Gerontology focusing on participatory research methodology at the University of Brussels; Aleksandra Markowska and Katarzyna Ziemann Director and Deputy Director of the Social Innovation Laboratory – budget unit of the municipality of Gdynia (Poland); Asier Gallastegi, systemic consultant, trainer and coach and promoter of the Bherria project of the Basque Government; Rocío Cuevas, from the Associació Salut i Família catalana who spoke about the Bancs del Temps project; and Rosa Jiménez, coordinator of the La Escalera project. In addition, Lide Amilibia, Deputy Minister of Social Policies, Emilio Sola, Director of Social Services of the Basque Government and Elena del Barrio, coordinator of Euskadi Lagunkoia closed the meeting with the presentation of the new Best Practices web section. Attendants: 206 people.
    • 2018. On this occasion, the Conference was held on 14 September at the Palacio Europa in Vitoria-Gasteiz, bringing together people who are carrying out different innovative European and national experiences related to older people. This second edition had a larger audience than the previous one, with a total of 250 people. Speakers included: Alexandre Kalache, President and founder of the International Longevity Center in Brazil, Global Ambassador on Ageing for HelpAge International and former Director of the World Health Organization’s Department of Ageing and the Life Cycle; Angélique Giacomini, head of training and research at the Réseau Francophone des Villes Amies des Aînés’; Stephen Johnston, Co-founder of Aging 2.0. and CEO of Fordcastle; Fiona Murphy, manager of Campaign to End Loneliness; Berta Cormenzana, project director of the Barcelona Urban Ecology Agency and technical coordinator of the Supermanzanas programme; Cristina Suárez, director of miPlaza and Lorena Ruiz, coordinator of Experimenta distrito. In addition, a temporary exhibition of the work of Yoseba Muruzábal was presented. Finally, and as a closure of the meeting, the presentation of the awards was held, in which the ‘Euskadi Lagunkoia Good Practice Award in Friendliness’ and three recognitions for good practices were given.  Attendants: 250 people
    • 2019. The conference was held on 13 November at the Kursaal Congress Centre in Donostia. The conference aimed to give continuity to the two previous editions. The inaugural lecture, “Dementia-friendly environments,” was given by Yvonne Van Amerongen, director of the Hogewey.The Conference continued with two tables, the first dedicated to making visible good European practices in the field of friendliness. This table was opened by Sam Dalton, an expert from the British NGO The Challenge. This first part of the conference closed with the intervention of Tecnalia researcher, Silvia Urra, and the presentation of Homes4Life. The second part of the day was dedicated to making good practices visible at the state level. Vicente Pérez Cano, Director of CONFEMAC, Alfredo Cohen, Director of “El parlante” and Iñigo Santiago Zubizarreta, Director of the Social Action Area of the Bilbao City Council who presented “Mirada Activa”, winner of the BBPP 2018 award. Attendants: 230 people
    • 2020. The IV Conference “European Good Practices in Friendliness-COVID 19”, was held on December 4th in a face-to-face and online format due to the pandemic situation, at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, and retransmitted through our youtube channels. The program of the event was adapted to the presentation of initiatives and good practices implemented in the context of the covid-19 crisis. Among the speakers were: Christopher Phillipson, from the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing; Thomas Scharf, from the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing. Thomas Scharf, from the University of Newcastel and President of the British Society of Gerontology; Paul MgGarry, Director of the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub; Ricardo Antón, from Colaborabora, presenting the initiative “Brake the Curve”; Aitor Abecia, Mayor of Zambrana, presenting the initiative “Getting older is not synonymous with losing quality of life and its adaptation to the Covid19 crisis”, 2019 award for best practice in friendliness. Attendants: online 170 people, in person 70 people.


  • Euskadi Lagunkoia Awards “Best age-friendly practice”. In 2018 the first “Best age-friendly practice Award” was announced with the aim of recognizing and highlighting those practices developed by entities in the Basque Country that stand out for their innovation and efficiency in terms of friendliness in the generation of facilitating living environments for the elderly.
    • 2018. For the resolution of the award, the members of the jury who assessed the good practices were selected to choose the winner. Finally, four awards were given: three runner-ups and one prize. Among those that received recognition for their work through the second prize were ‘Empowerment of the elderly as participants and main agents in the project’ Abadiño Lagunkoia’, ‘Healthy walks’ in Antzuola and ‘Activate your neighbourhood’ in Vitoria-Gasteiz. The winner of the Euskadi Lagunkoia Good Practices Award for friendliness was ‘Mirada activa- Detection of situations of loneliness among the elderly’ from Bilbao.
    • 2019. A total of 8 good practices were received. On this occasion, 3 awards were given: 2 runner-ups and 1 prize. Among those that received recognition for their work through the second prize were “Invisible Beauty” and the “Intergenerational Programme of the Bizi Ispasterko Nagusiak Association”. The winning initiative was “Getting older is not synonymous with losing quality of life”, a project presented by Zambrana City Council.
    • 2020. A total of 12 new good practices were received. This year, two awards were given: 1 runner-up and 1 prize. The one that received recognition for its work with the second prize was “Hilo de Plata” (Silver Thread), presented by Nagusilan. The winning initiative was “We are with you”, a project presented by the City Council of Vitoria-Gasteiz”.

eusAll the good practices have been uploaded to a database. This has updated the catalogue with the good practices collected so far, organized by area of action and available on the web.



Commitment Letter
Baseline Assessment
Strategy and Action Plan



Age-Friendly World