The blue-green belt of Zarautz
City/Region : Zarautz , Spain

We started working with the initiative "Eraztun Berde-Urdina (EBU)" in December 2009, the basis for the creation of the Green-Blue Belt of Zarautz, when we gave the order to write a project that would improve the conservation of the green areas and the biodiversity of Zarautz. In this project actions (recovery of wetlands, improvement of forests) are being carried out in the areas surrounding the municipality (mainly in those that lack some type of protection). In addition, the project is based on three main objectives:

- Biodiversity and care of the green areas that surround the municipality.

- Give citizens the opportunity to enjoy leisure outdoors and be in contact with nature.

- Publicize the natural resources of Zarautz.

To give the option to enjoy leisure we have trained a circular route of 11 kilometers.

Agendas addressed
DecarbonisationUrban mobilityBiodiversity
Greenfield land and natural spaceWater resources and air qualityClimate change
Public space
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement

Zarautz, a village to enjoy the calm and the flavors of the land and the sea:

It is a place that invites all year round to relax with the rhythm of the sea. Enjoy the culture and enogastronomy, participate in its cozy and traditional festivals where music, folklore, regattas and rural sports are protagonists. Zarautz is today a village with its own rhythm, adapted to its environment of mountain and sea. A modern villa that lives and shares its traditions with pride.

To do this, do not forget to work to achieve the goal set in the legislative plan: "The objective of this government team is to promote sustainable territorial, social and economic development and seek the constant improvement of the quality of life of all citizens, giving a balanced response to their needs and desires. " Through this project also, we want Zarautz to become a sustainable and innovative municipality, committed to its natural environment, its culture and the Basque language, and one which is open to diversity.

Sea and mountains are the ideal scenario to enjoy healthy walks without having to get away from the coast.

In Action

Zarautz has a rich natural environment, surrounded by green and blue, specifically mountain and sea. Talaimendi, the Biotopo and its protected areas, the Pgoeta natural park, the Urteta and Urdaneta areas, Indamendi, Elkano and the Vista Alegre park, Santa Barbara, the beach and the sea. In order for the value and care of all these natural areas to be adequate, certain guidelines will be disclosed. The duration of the project is: 2015 - 2019.

Obstacles: many of the lands covered by the EBU are privately owned and it is becoming very difficult to sign agreements for the cession of roads. On the other hand, we are trying to obtain permits to cross the roads that are under the protection of the Diputación de Gipuzkoa: on two roads and in refuge of Monte Albertia.

Brief description of the success factors:

- Expands the possibilities of leisure.

- Recovers degraded areas.

- Gives the option to citizens to be more active.

- It is a project that is offered to all citizens (equally).

- Puts  a value on biodiversity

- Enables social renewal, promoting participation and sharing knowledge.

Target groups with influence:

All citizens and visitors, economic activities related to tourism.

Influence on the environment, society and economy:

- Conservation of biodiversity.

- Enable the improvement of the quality of life of Zarautz

- Make the concept of sustainable development known to society.

- Offer new resources to promote tourism.


- City Council: Through collaboration between different municipal departments: Agenda 21, collaboration, environment, tourism, culture, sports.

- Citizens: Preserve and care for certain areas.

- Visitors: Value and respect the leisure areas that Zarautz offers.


We have only started with the phase in 2009, but we can say that we have achieved strong bases. We have well defined the profile of the route, completed coherent signage and we will be feeding the project with participation. For this, the first thing we will do is meet with the promoters: the Arkamurka Natur group, Pagoeta Mendi Elkartea and the Ornithology group. EBU's budget is approximately € 400,000.


1 Define the route and signal it.

2 Agreements with private owners to use their land.

3 Joint work of different departments of the City Council.

4 Include the EBU project in other municipal projects.

5 Remodeling and repair of different areas: Mutxioko Gaina, Vista Alegre Park, Teideyako Bidea and Haltzadia.

6 Join initiatives related to health,

7 Encourage participation.

8 Develop a communication plan.

9 Awareness campaign.

10 Coordination with the Agenda 21 school programme.


The 11-kilometer route that joins the Blue Green Belt (EBU) of Zarautz is well known by all its inhabitants, since much of it was previously used to create this ring for the daily walks of the population. However, there were some areas of difficult access for less "trained" citizens and with the improvements that we are making every year, accessibility is improving. In addition to the complete tour, we have divided the belt into three mini-tours and so we guarantee that both the most prepared and those who are not so, can make part of the route and enjoy the wonderful views that can be seen from different points.

We intend that the Blue Green Belt (EBU) of Zarautz will act as a project for all citizens. To achieve this, we have added a participation section on the  web page. Among other things, we are going to ask people to write their experiences in different points of the belt: playing in childhood, in your work.

As Zarautz is a touristic municipality, the belt gives the possibility of offering easy itineraries to travel with family and friends. It is therefore a resource that will influence the economy of the municipality to the extent that it attracts more people. For this reason, we have organized guided visits to the Biotopo of Ilñuritza and to the forest of Zingira and Vista Alegre Park. Points all of them, which are collected in the belt.

Challenges and lessons learned

A project with these characteristics is like a long distance race. Do not pretend to have it done in a year. There are many issues that must be taken into account: interests of the owners of the private lands through which it passes, adaptation of the project to other proposed urban developments, coordination with other administrations with powers in certain points.

At all times we wanted that the subsequent maintenance of the Belt did not imply a significant economic loss for the annual municipal budget. So the choice of materials and supports is being more expensive but in the long run it will be better.



ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
European Secretariat

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79098 Freiburg

Tel.: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 0
Fax: +49 (0) 761 – 368 92 19



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