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For three decades, numerous urban renewal projects have involved European cities located on rivers, demonstrating how an interpretation of the urban and peri-urban areas is related to questions about high-quality ecological development and environmental sustainability. This report places the majority of large projects involving river cities among new environmental practices, usually adhered to for large events which are seen as tools for transforming the land and the image of the host city. In this context, cities near rivers are increasingly aware of the natural environment which shapes the identity of a place and which requires ordinary and extraordinary renewal projects. This is the framework for the various elements of the ambitious project taken on by Zaragoza, the Spanish city which hosted the International Expo in 2008 with the theme “Water and Sustainable Development”. It is entirely appropriate then, that it was integrated into a strategy aimed at the transformation and regeneration of the territory surrounding the river. The urban-environmental project along the shores of the Ebro River, joining green areas with leisure activities, has not only created a space for enjoyment, but it has also become a place for activity within a wide urban park. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how the project for the Zaragoza Expo (and the policies created for a new metropolitan vision before 2020) encapsulates the reciprocal relationship between the event, which sought to transform the river’s surrounding region, and the resources which this very region has placed front and center in order to relaunch its identity.