The main asset and potential of Gijón, the most populated city in the region of Asturias with nearly 274,000 inhabitants, lies in the way it combines deep contrasts that become a way of life and boost the city’s identity. A city with two millennia of history, its urban structure has grown surrounded by a particular natural environment, between sea and mountains.
This setting has forged a traditional character rooted in the rural atmosphere of some areas and at the same time open to the Atlantic Ocean, always ready to receive and welcome those who come occasionally to the city, for work or leisure, or to stay in an increasingly habitable and sustainable city.
Its recent history is the one of a city that has experienced its greatest growth under the impulse of the industrial revolution and an economy marked by coal, iron and steel, but that has managed to reinvent itself as a quality tourist destination, a reference point for cultural activity in the north of Spain and, above all, as a welcoming place for companies and industries at the forefront of technological innovation.
The signs of its current character include references such as the Port of El Musel that is Spain’s main bulk carrier port and one of the most important of all the Atlantic Arc, thanks mainly to imports of coal and iron ore. The exceptional business and research network concentrated on the Margarita Salas Mile of Knowledge, with more than 3,000 employees where the Science and Technology Park of Gijón, promoted by the municipality, is located. The beauty and accessibility of Gijón’s coastline – with San Lorenzo beach and Eduardo Chillida’s sculpture Elogio del Horizonte as its emblems – and the way of life of its inhabitants is open and hospitable.
Gijón is well-known for its gastronomy and its leisure offer. Sports and culture are celebrated, for example the activities at the centenary Jovellanos Theatre and annual events such as the Gijón International Film Festival, Black Week Literature Festival, or the FETEN Children Theatre Fair.
Gijón also stands out for its commitment to reach out to citizens by bringing services closer to the different neighbourhoods, thereby offering numerous programmes to tackle different social circumstances. The city is also involved in the European Digital Agenda, promoting the digitalisation of public services in a holistic Smart City Strategy with renowned projects such as the Gijón Citizen Card – widely used by Gijón Citizens since its implementation in 2002.