Like the vast majority of medium-sized cities in Spain, Donostia/San Sebastián has a strategic plan in place which will enable it to face the future in the best possible way.

The main incentive for implementing a strategic planning process is to answer to the need to react properly to problematic situations (mainly an economic crisis or standstill).
Generally speaking, crisis situations are not the main reason for addressing these processes in our context. Instead, the incentive is has more to do with finding public-private partnerships, a desire to coordinate action, continuous improvement or an interest in promoting processes of revitalisation.

For anticipate the future

A strategic plan responds to the need for cities for anticipate the future. The key therefore lies in the answer to these questions: Where do we want to go to? What kind of city do we want in the future?
After establishing a strategy - in other words, the model of the city that we want to be - each and every one of us must pull in the same direction to reach our desired goal.

Strategic plan

The purpose of the 2030 Strategy is to bring about and promote change to ensure the evolution, progress and sustainable social, economic and territorial development of our city, Donostia / San Sebastián.

The Strategy for the city has been developed within the framework of a collaborative ecosystem which, over two decades, has gradually grown and become established.

All of this is due to the constant work and search for shared consensus in collaboration with the City Social Council and through various work groups made up of stakeholders, institutions, politicians, experts from municipal departments, through workshops, meetings and different events, as well as with approximately 300 hours of interviews with experts in areas related to the strategy for the city.


We use a methodology infused with a cross-cutting, multi-sectorial perspective, at the epicentre of which is our most important value: people.

Without them and without their involvement, the strategic processes just wouldn’t make any sense. The fact is that as well as their participation, the provision of methodology and knowledge is mutual. Our aim is to design the future, but at the same time to encourage the empowerment of the stakeholders in the city and of citizens in general through the strategic projects. This is what makes us really different. It is our own way of doing things: TEA, “Think-Elkarrekin-Act”.


The E2030DSS Strategic plan is built around 5 solid pillars that the strategic aims and courses of action are based on. In our vision we are more…


Because of the transformation of the city towards a more inclusive, younger and friendlier society.


Through the constant search for balance for economic activities, tourism and commerce.


Through continuous improvement to guarantee a sustainable, lively and open city.


Because the search for excellence forms part of our DNA and because it acknowledges glocal environmental, gastronomic and creative leadership.

Cutting edge

Because we ensure our own coexistence model by taking a cutting-edge approach to the governance model, the urban development model and the cultural model.

Strategic Plan

E2020DSS, Donostia/San Sebastián's Strategy in the run up to 2020, did not start from scratch but instead considered the 2010 Strategic Plan which involved a strategic shift towards a new model of city that is much more geared towards innovation and knowledge.

As outlined in the 2010 Strategic Plan, the first plan was reviewed and assessed with a view to drafting a new frame of reference for 2010-2020. This paved the way for the city's second strategic plan, E2020DSS, which started to take shape between late 2008 and early 2009, in the grip of the crisis.

The first strategic plan was deemed to be complete after its progress and journey had been evaluated positively, thereby justifying a second plan which would continue the work that had been carried out so far.

The E2020DSS Strategic Plan was therefore conceived as a dynamic document which adapts to change and is a continuation of the city model which featured in the first plan. The new strategy must refocus on any aspects which have not been properly developed, and also further explore those which were reflected insufficiently in the first plan.

The creation of the E2020DSS Strategic Plan benefited from the contributions of the main economic and social players in the city and the surrounding area and, in particular, from the Strategic Plan's Executive Committee and participants in the Sectoral Committees, whose contributions were crucial.

Four strategic areas

The E2020DSS strategy is based on four strategic areas:

Area 1

Designed in DSS

Innovation, Science, Knowledge, Creativity, Culture, Gastronomy. The city has gradually carved out a new brand associated to knowledge and innovation as activities of the future.

Area 2

People and Values

The city of the future needs people like those who have made the city of the present a reality. Citizens who are responsible, active and trained to achieve global, changing evolution, which is only possible by means of strong values and social capital. Citizens who cooperate, who organise themselves, who lead the way in a life without violence and projects and who open the way to permanent, sustainable development.

Area 3

A connected city

Thinking globally, in a world without borders, in order to be able to take action locally, but also thinking locally in order to act globally, on an open stage.

The city needs to be “connected” to that international stage, but also to its metropolitan environment by constructing an “intelligent collaboration”.

Area 4

Live, enjoy

Quality of life has in the city one of its leading exponents, but a number of important challenges need addressing: balanced development, sustainability, trade and community services, connectivity, access to housing, leisure... not forgetting the opportunity to continue addressing urban innovation as the distinguishing feature of a city that has been capable of reinventing itself.


Strategic Plan

The 2004-2010 Strategic Plan for Donostia/San Sebastián involved a great deal of consideration as to the model for the city that we wanted at that time, and this period of reflection lasted over two years.

It was a turning point which enabled us to define, prioritise and achieve the objectives, strategies and projects that were to be undertaken in Donostia/San Sebastián in the medium term in order to improve the quality of life of its citizens, boosting socio-economic development and social cohesion.

Four strategic areas

The Strategic Plan involved the participation of hundreds of people and established four strategic areas which provided the foundation for the city model:

  • City of Quality
  • City of Creativity and Innovation
  • City of People (cohesive)
  • Networked City

A series of objectives, courses of action and projects for advancement were established based on the four strategic areas.