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Brad Pitt visited an urban renewal project – designed by famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer – in the industrial city of Aviles in northern Spain last week.

The celebrity took the time to visit the new facilities being worked on in a port area in what was once the centre of the city’s steel industry in the 1950s. The new area will feature an auditorium, a sight-seeing tower, an exhibition centre and a large outdoor square that will serve as a venue for cultural activities when it opens in 2010, and Pitt’s work with his Make It Right Foundation in New Orleans – which has being rebuilding homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina – attracted him to the project.

The city’s mayor, Pilar Varela, said the actor was especially interested in the environmental sustainability of the Spanish project: “This is why Brad Pitt has come to visit the site… He is interested in supporting the project, the cultural as well as the architectural aspects.”

Fourteen families are now living in homes built by Pitt’s foundation in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. Nineteen homes are currently under construction and 49 families are in the process of becoming homeowners thanks to Pitt’s efforts.

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