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"How to grow a city" – RegioStars finalist driving sustainable solutions

(26 March 2014)

Currently over half of the world population lives in cities - over two-thirds of Europeans, and this share is set to rise to 75% in coming years. Cities are the hotbed of innovation and creativity, and they drive economic growth. But they also pose the biggest challenge in terms of climate change and energy efficiency, with pockets of deprivation, poverty and social exclusion. Neither Member States nor the EU can achieve their economic or social policy objectives without engaging with cities. 

Commissioner Johannes Hahn has championed the cause of cities throughout his mandate and the recent reform of EU Regional Policy has made the urban dimension more central: it is expected that half of European Regional Development Fund investments for 2014-2020 will be made in cities and urban areas and Member States are obliged to invest 5% at the very least on integrated sustainable urban actions. 

This episode of REAL ECONOMY puts Europe's cities under the lens, with their diverse dynamics and challenges analysed by Martin Powell, Global Head of Urban Development for Siemens. The Mayors of Lisbon, Rome and Venice, along with Commissioner Hahn also discuss the need for an EU Urban agenda. Meanwhile the 2014 RegioStars Award finalist and ERDF-funded ecological and sustainable trolley-bus project in Gdynia, Poland is presented as a model for sustainable urban transport. RegioStars winners to be announced on 31st March. 

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