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Urban development in Europe

In a Europe, which is growing together, cities and city regions gain in importance - both regarding the economic development of the European Union and their institutional relationship to national states. In order to strengthen cities and city regions, various initiatives have been launched and strategies developed with a focus on accommodating the potential of urban areas as well as current requirements. The EU exerts influence on the urban development and housing policy in two ways.

  • First of all via the process policy, especially the EU structural policy. Member states and their subregions shall be committed via financial incentives to act in line with the overall concepts of the EU.
  • Secondly via the regulatory policy creating a binding legal framework for all member states, especially the EU's environmental policy guidelines or the competition policy. Some of the guidelines for example had an impact on the urban land use especially the guidelines concerning the environmental impact assessment of certain plans and programmes. The act adjusting the Federal Building Code to related EU guidelines ("Europarechtsanpassungsgesetz Bau - EAG Bau") served to integrate the EU’s environmental law requirements into national building and planning law, especially into the Federal Building Code.

The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) supports the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) in the activities of European committees aiming to intensify the cooperation of the member states in the field of urban development.

European Urban Policy