The massive concentration of the population in the cities poses complex sustainability challenges related to environment, transport and social cohesion.
The Basque Institute on Competitiveness-ORKESTRA is an advanced research unit that generates knowledge on regional entities, competitiveness and innovation policies. ORKESTRA analyses policy-making processes (from design to evaluation), using action-research methodologies and the interaction of different stakeholders in a territory. It focuses on matters such as: multilevel government, intra- and inter-institutional coordination; public and private partnerships, the creation of social capital and the construction of shared and participatory territorial strategies. It also analyses the insertion of the territory's clusters in global value chains and their impact on territorial competitiveness. Besides, ORKESTRA plays a key role in the development and assessment of Smart Specialisation Strategies at local (BILBAO NEXTLAB project), regional (Basque Competitiveness Report) and international level (FP7 SMARTSPEC project).
This area of excellence prepares future leaders in competitiveness, making the transition from the design to the implementation of a participatory strategy through the quadruple helix approach: government, business, university and civil society working together for a sustainable inclusive urban development.
DEUSTO Cities Lab Katedra, partner of UNHABITAT and co-funded by the Basque Government, contributes to foster the innovation on city governance and leadership through research projects, learning programmes, dissemination, awareness and open innovation actions.
Finally culture and cultural diversity are sources of human enrichment and provides an important contribution to the sustainable development of cities. DEUSTO is currently participating in the EU-funded CORNERS initiative designing methodological tools for assessing the social impact of the artistic collaborations organised in the involved European regions. Moreover DEUSTO is also researching on the contribution of the cultural heritage for a sustainable local development recognizing its role as a driver and expression of citizens’ identity and belonging.