The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) has released a briefing outlining the primary benefits and challenges of the development of a EU Urban Agenda. For a long-time the collective goal of urban development has been forming at a European inter-governmental level. So far, there is common consent among city authorities and urban stakeholders to create a EU Urban Agenda that will allow for more input and authority in deciding how Europe’s cities should evolve.
Urban living on a common ground
Urban areas today account for over 70% of Europe’s population. They are cultural melting pots and centres of innovation and job creation. However, they are also initiators of social exclusion, poverty and damage to the environment. Many EU policies directly impact cities, yet the effects to urban living are often sporadic or off target. The beneficial vision of the EU Urban Agenda is to bring a common and more co-ordinated framework into action that will stream through local, national and EU levels of governance and deal with urban issues head on.
Now is the time for a EU Urban Agenda
The EUKN has played a significant role in providing knowledge support during the informal ministerial meetings aimed at designing a long-term urban development strategy. As an urban knowledge network for European Member States, the EUKN has acted as inter-mediators and consultants for EUKN members and non-members. The signings of the Leipzig Charter in 2007, the Toledo Declaration in 2010 and the more recent Riga Declaration signed on 10th June 2015, have provided reassuring milestones of what is a long yet worthwhile journey for the citizens of Europe’s cities and towns.