Agency feeds debate on quality of life in European cities
As a result of Europe's growing urban population, urban spread and the quality of life in cities are becoming major problems. The EEA background paper, 'The urban environment in its broader territorial context' says that these issues cannot be dealt with solely by looking at towns and cities in isolation or as 'islands'. Urban areas must be viewed in the broader context of their surrounding countryside or hinterlands.
The EEA's Executive Director, Jacqueline McGlade, delivered this message to European Environment ministers at the Informal Council meeting in Eisenstadt, Austria over the weekend.
The event was organised by the Austrian Presidency under the theme: Environment technology and urban environment, and the debate centred on improving the quality of life in urban areas by using environmental technology.
Europe is one of the most urbanised continents in the world, and today some 70% of its population is urban. Between 1990 and 2000 built-up areas in Europe grew by three times the size of Luxembourg. By 2020 around 80% of Europeans will be living in urban areas, while in seven countries the proportion will be as high as 90% or more.
The upcoming report, 'Environmental aspects of urban spread in Europe' will offer further insight into the interconnectivity between urban areas and their regional hinterlands, and discuss how this affects environmental resources. The report is set for release in autumn.
See background paper