you're reading...
PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

What is a city? In focus on urban areas

What is a city?

© grki / Fotolia

What has anything from around 700 people to more than 17,000,000 and can cover from 0,44 square metres to more than 2,500 square kilometers? Cities: whether a huge metropolis, a national capital or a historic town or port – cities have much in common.

The typologies proposed for Europe’s cities by various organisations all have their limitations, but for the first time, a common methodology, agreed by the EU and OECD allows a comparison of the number of cities and their share of population on a harmonised basis across Europe.

Are you wondering how well your city performs? Or, maybe, you are thinking your city needs better adapted policies and instruments to tackle its specific situation.

And, how important cities are for the EU economy? Some statistics:

  • 72% of the entire EU population lives in cities, town and suburbs;
  • some 85% of EU GDP is generated by cities;
  • around 50% of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be invested in urban areas;
  • 40% of CO2 emissions from road transport are emitted in urban areas.

First Europe was rural…

As early as the middle of last century, Europe had turned from a mainly rural to an urban continent. Either you live in rural or urban environment, you’re certainly concerned by city sprawl, which leads to loss of agricultural land in Europe.

Nowadays things are changing and new urban – rural relationships develop.

Then Europe became a predominantly urban continent….

In focus on urban areas

© Sunny studio / Fotolia

On 17-18 February 2014, the European Commission’s experts and key urban stakeholders will be exchanging views on the Forum “CiTIEs: Cities of Tomorrow: Investing in Europe on the need to strengthen the urban dimension of EU’s policies and programmes in which cohesion policy, also known as regional policy, will play a major role. The Forum will also give the local authorities the opportunity to outline what they would need from the EU in order to successfully deliver the policies on the ground. The urban dimension is even important enough to trigger a change of name for the Commission DG REGIO, to Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy on October 2012.

How could cohesion policy support cities to face their social and structural problems and challenges aggravated by the economic crisis? Housing, unemployment, immigration, climate change, energy saving or demographical changes, all affect our urban lives.

Some €21.1 billion has been earmarked for urban development between 2007 and 2013, representing 6.1% of the total EU Cohesion Policy budget. In the new financial framework 2014-2020, the urban dimension of the cohesion policy will get greater resources for integrated projects in cities – on top of other spending in urban areas.

In the future, Europe should encourage more sustainable cities…

Some believe that EU should invest still more on sustainable development of urban areas.

Sustainable urban development is one of the key elements of regional policy for 2014-2020. Investment priorities for urban areas include promoting low-carbon strategies, improving urban environment and promoting social inclusion. We bet that you been stuck in a traffic jam going in or out of a city once in a while. Urban mobility, another priority, is an increasing challenge for local governments.

Want to know more about the driving forces for sustainable urban development? Our keysource gives a selection of relevant analyses on the subject.

More on the topic (available to MEPs and EP staff only)

To stay informed on this topic, and receive both in-house analysis and external info sources, MEP offices and EP staff can subscribe to an e-mail alert on Urban Policy. You can also get a glimpse of the documents we have in our catalogue on the issue.

Urban Week - Cities of Tomorrow

About EPRSauthor

European Parliamentary Research Service of the European Parliament. The EPRS offers the best available research and analytical support to Members of the European Parliament, their staff, parliamentary committees and, of course, to you!

Discussion

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The international dimension of European Urban Policy | European Parliamentary Research Service - January 28, 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Download the EPRS App

EPRS App on Google Play
EPRS App on App Store
What Europe Does For You
EU Legislation in Progress
Topical Digests
EPRS Podcasts

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,118 other followers

Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy.

For a comprehensive description of our cookie and data protection policies, please visit Terms and Conditions page.

Copyright © European Union, 2014-2019. All rights reserved.

%d bloggers like this: