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Cities of tomorrow

Thinking for the future

Europe is one of the most urbanised continents in the world. Today, more than two thirds of the
European population lives in urban areas and this share continues to grow. The development of
our cities will determine the future economic, social and territorial development of the
European Union.

Cities play a crucial role as engines of the economy, as places of connectivity,


originality, creativity and innovation, and as centres of services for their
surrounding areas.
In terms of aims, objectives and values, there is a shared vision of the European city of tomorrow as:
a place of advanced social progress with a high degree of social cohesion, civism, socially-balanced
housing as well as social, health and 'education for all' services;
a platform for democracy, cultural dialogue and diversity;
a place of green, ecological or environmental regeneration;
a place of attraction and an engine of economic growth.

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
initiative, and for mitigating the impact of climate change. However, cities are also places
where problems such as unemployment, segregation and poverty are concentrated.

As competition increases, cities have tried to improve their respective position.


Different types of innovative cultural, urban renewal and environmental projects are
being developed, as well as an infrastructure for global competition.

Cities do not compete using only infrastructures but also with intangibles, such
as knowledge, people, quality of life and leadership.

To compete, cities brand themselves as green, creative or cultural cities. Attractiveness builds
on the quality of education, cultural and aesthetic assets, good sport and leisure opportunities,
environmental assets and cleanliness of air and water, as well as social life and urban safety.

Attractiveness is a result of sustainable and integrated urban development: sound urban


planning; sustainable urban transport; all-age-friendly policies; affordable housing; good public
services, clean air, clean water, green spaces, etc. A functional integrated approach to urban
development will also have to take into account all aspects of life.

An attractive city has a creativity that reaches beyond narrow cultural aspects to the
wider processes of creative action, social innovation, organisational learning, and
the building of urban intelligence. Such processes can be applied to economic
activity, public governance, social structures and cultural expression.

The economic and social dimensions of demographic change are as important as demographic
trends themselves.
Cities will face different challenges depending on the composition and evolution of their population
structure in terms of age, household composition, share of immigrants, education and socioeconomic situation,peoples civism, especially in relation to evolving economic circumstances.
It is the duty of all governance levels to highlight the social position, prestige and public image of
the people.

Local development approaches encourage partnerships between public, private and voluntary
organisations, providing a powerful tool to mobilise and involve local communities and
organisations, as well as citizens.

It can be expected that individual citizens and communities will take more
responsibility for their own welfare and for the local policy processes that shape
their lives and the places in which they live.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) and specific urban technologies have the potential
to bring solutions to many of the urban challenges. These range from hard technological solutions in
the field of urban energy efficiency, renewable energy, transport, safety, etc., to soft solutions for social
interaction, citizens participation or global management systems for city administrations.

Cities can no longer be defined solely by their administrative boundaries, nor can urban
policies target only city-level administrative units. Attention has to be paid to the necessary
complementarities between functional approaches at the level of larger agglomerations and
metropolises and social and cultural approaches involving citizens engagement and
empowerment at the level of neighbourhoods.

To fulfil such objectives, fixed coordination mechanisms have to be complemented by flexible


ones to ensure dialogue and cooperation between territorial and governmental levels, as well as
between sectors concerned by urban development.

The greatest challenge is to achieve these ideal cities while


maintaining spirit, emotion, self fullfilment and hope of the citizens.

It is clear that European cities merit special interest and that the future of our cities
will shape the future of Europe.

Made by: Schiopu Denisa Ioana


Cls. A XII-a A, C.N. Al. D. Ghica