Address to the URBAN Intergroup by Commissioner Hahn
At a time when the importance of urban development is clear for all to see – in tackling the impact of the global economic crisis and in building a smart, sustainable and inclusive future for all – the continued interest of MEPs in urban development is hugely welcome. Our continent is one of the most urbanized in the world, with more than two thirds of the European population living in urban areas – a share that continues to grow. These areas act as the engines of our economy and as a catalyst for creativity and innovation throughout Europe. However, they are also the places where problems such as unemployment, segregation and poverty are at their most severe. It is in these urban areas that the success of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the future economic, social and territorial development of the entire European Union will be determined.
For this reason, I want to assure you that the Commission is fully committed to pursuing an increasingly ambitious urban agenda. This ambition is evidenced by several of the Commission’s proposals in the draft regulations: a much clearer focus on sustainable urban development with 5% of ERDF resources being allocated for ‘integrated actions’ in this field by each Member State; the establishment of an Urban Development Platform which will promote capacity building and exchange of experience on urban policy amongst cities; and the creation of a new tool entitled Urban Innovative Actions to explore and demonstrate radical new approaches to issues relating to sustainable urban development.
In further developing and implementing this ambitious urban agenda, the expertise and assistance of the Urban Intergroup will be vital. I look forward to the continuation of the productive relationship between DG Regional Policy and the Urban Intergroup. Together we can ensure that our urban areas are given the best possible chance to succeed.
6th IMAGINE Seminar 2011
A one day seminar “Energy Roadmap 2050: Towards local and regional Energy Roadmaps” was organised in Brussels on 9th of November 2011 by the URBAN Intergroup and Energy Cities.
The participants agreed that the energy roadmaps that include a long-term vision are very important as a guide to make short term decisions and to improve energy efficiency in cities. During the conference, Energy Cities’ members, key European stakeholders and representatives of EU institutions shared their views on the expected Energy Roadmap 2050 and presented also their own visions towards 2040 – 2050. Moreover, the seminar provided the participants with numerous examples of cities making progress in decarbonisation, including some best practices of cities that have already reached the 100% decarbonisation level.