Joint organiser: Czech Ministry of Regional Development

The Czech Principles of Urban Policy (PUP), a strategic document issued in 2010 and renewed in 2017, is undergoing a second update. The aim is to reflect the latest trends in urban development and better align the Principles with key strategic agendas, especially the New Leipzig Charter.  

As part of the EUKN’s activities to support the PUP update, this Policy Lab enabled Member States to exchange knowledge and experience on National Urban Policies, as well as various governmental levels to discuss the way ahead for the Czech PUP. The event explored which principles to consider for the PUP update, building on preparatory survey results and informing policy recommendations for the Czech Ministry of Regional Development. In particular, the focus lay on supporting just, green and productive cities in the context of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Expert contributions

Eduardo de Santiago Rodríguez

Deputy Directorate for Urban Policies, Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Technical Advisor on Land and Urban Policies

The Spanish Urban Agenda (AUE) is a strategic document fostering sustainability in urban development policies, seeking more equitable, fair and sustainable development in Spanish cities. It was launched in 2019 after a participation process with experts, local and regional authorities and public and private stakeholders, also involved in its implementation. The Spanish Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has approved its own Action Plan to implement the AUE nationally and helps municipalities build Local Action Plans.

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Integrated Urban Policies Spain

Tomaž Miklavčič

Policy Advisor in Strategic Spatial Planning, Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of Slovenia

Slovenia’s overarching goal to increase territorial cohesion by strengthening territorial efficiency, and improving territorial quality and identity, has progressed by avoiding cities competing for funds, and overcoming a sectoral approach to urban policy. After an informal dialogue process, the Ministry developed a binding document that is vital to reinforcing the Polycentric Urban System. This approach highlights the key role of small cities in Slovenia’s Spatial Planning Strategy 2050, which centres on a concentrated and territorially efficient model where major urban areas function as nodes to facilitate functional connections within wider urban areas and beyond.

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Tadashi Matsumoto

Head of Sustainable Development and Global Relations Unit, CFE, OECD

The OECD Principles of Urban Policy were launched in 2019, with implementation tool kits set to launch at WUF11 in Poland, 2022. These emphasise integrating climate measures into National Urban Policies, with innovative workarounds such as nature-based solutions (NBS). Developing institutional arrangements can tackle a common difficulty: lack of knowledge on innovative topics such as NBS. Documentation should have practical applications, setting targets with trustworthy data sources. Policy objectives should also use existing indicators, rather than creating new measurement tools. National policies should link strongly with urban policies to effectively address a country’s needs, agendas and priorities.

Wiktoria Saganowska

Head of Unit, Urban Policy Unit, Department of Strategy, Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy

The Polish National Urban Policy (NUP) was adopted in 2015, with an inter-ministerial management team including local government representatives. Its ongoing updates focus on polycentric urban structure, SMEs as key targets, and fostering resilient, accessible, compact, green, productive and smart cities that ensure high quality of life. Cross-sectoral and city-level action is key for NUP implementation, so the Ministry works to enhance cities’ knowledge and capacity in developing urban policy. 

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František Kubeš

Head of Department for Strategic Development and Cooperation, City of Brno

Experience from national to local level shows the need for robust documentation to address diverse challenges and help policymakers in practice. Urban policy principles should be created by engaged policymakers themselves, and strategic and spatial planning streamlined to foster coordinated urban policy. Following Spanish and Polish experiences, a National Urban Forum could improve exchange between Czech cities. Cities also need national government support on current and future challenges such as digitalisation, climate change and autonomous mobility. New methods, like working parties or community-based groups, could incentivise town and city participation, while promoting their productive application of urban policy principles.

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