ESPON Policy Brief: Sustainable Urbanisation

Since 2000, approximately 250 football fields of land (180 ha) have been converted to urban use in Europe every day. This development far outstrips population growth; urbanisation occurs even in shrinking regions. In Europe, the conversion of land to urban use is the outcome of conscious decisions.

The purpose of this policy brief is to provide cities, regions and countries with a methodological approach to make the current urbanisation practices more efficient and sustainable, and thereby to support the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Territorial Agenda 2030 and the New Leipzig Charter. The application of this approach is demonstrated by two cases, one in Croatia and one in Lithuania.

Following the March 2020 earthquake near Zagreb, the Ministry of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets of the Republic of Croatia requested recommendations on how to link the reconstruction processes in the three affected regions to sustainable land use. The Ministry of Environment of Lithuania requested support for the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

The problems encountered by Croatia and Lithuania are similar to those in other European Member States. Many Mediterranean areas are earthquake-prone, and urban development in shrinking areas is far from unique in Europe. Moreover, the approach to analysing the situation and finding potential solutions that this policy brief describes is therefore applicable to many other European regions as well.


ESPON Policy Brief, Sustainable Urbanisation.pdf

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