Preface of the EU Document: “Cities of Tomorrow” by Commissioner Johannes Hahn.
This document was presented at the European Parliament on Tuesday 6th December 2011
More than two thirds of the European population lives in urban areas. Cities are places where both problems emerge and solutions are found. They are fertile ground for science and technology, for culture and innovation, for individual and collective creativity, and for mitigating the impact of climate change. However, cities are also places where problems such as unemployment, segregation and poverty are concentrated.
We need to better understand the challenges that different European cities will face in the years ahead. This is why I decided to bring together a number of urban experts and representatives of European cities to think about the future.
This report is the outcome of that reflection. It raises awareness of the possible future impacts of a range of trends, such as demographic decline and social polarisation, and the vulnerability of different types of cities. It also highlights opportunities and the key role cities can play in achieving EU objectives – especially in the implementation of the Europe 2020 strategy. It presents some inspirational models and visions. It also confirms the importance of an integrated approach to urban development.
The ‘Cities of tomorrow’ reflection process will provide inspiration for policymakers and practitioners involved in urban development, whether at local, regional, national or European level. Looking ahead and developing visions of the cities of tomorrow is becoming increasingly important at all levels. The development of our cities will determine the future of Europe.