The Just Dimension Session - The EUKN-OECD Week of National Urban Policies

29 June, 2021


In this thematic session, via presentations of their NUPs, the panellists explored how their National Urban Policies contribute to the advancement of urban justice in cities, examining their present and potential future contribution to achieving social cohesion in urban neighbourhoods, safeguarding access to housing and services, and promoting the common good in urban development. They then discussed:

  • What role does an NUP have in advancing the just city agenda? How can it accelerate the goal of leaving no one behind?
  • How and where do we create just, safe and accessible urban spaces?
  • What does it mean for an NUP to foster the common good?
  • How can an NUP help in the development and provision of more affordable housing? What role is it best suited to when it comes to addressing housing needs in cities? 
  • From your perspective, what is an NUP to you – is it a single policy, a combination of initiatives, or something else?

Key takeaways:

1. The common good is fostered by increasing access to public services, jobs and equal opportunities to all social groups, minimising territorial segregation and increasing access to all aspects of city life.

2. Focusing on subjective elements, such as a sense of belonging and citizens’ personal and sense-based experience of city life, is important.

3.  A place-based, holistic and integrated approach should be taken.

4. Tailor-made solutions are needed that take into account the links and differences between urban, peri-urban and rural settings.

5. Housing matters: the affordable housing crisis underpins many socio-economic injustices across the EU. Policies targeting housing are, therefore, key to mitigating economic and social disparities in urban areas and furthering the just dimension in NUP.

6. National Urban Policy should directly and indirectly address different policy areas (education, environment, etc.) and may serve as a backdrop to develop these policy areas further.

7. National Urban Policies can be seen as the overarching, guiding framework for all urban policies within a country, integrating all territorial and thematic aspects.

Read more about the EUKN-OECD Week of National Urban Policies here