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Promotion of Sustainable Urban Development: Funding Opportunities

The wide range of funding programmes is summarised in the Secretary General's website and the main environment related funding programmes are summarised here. The programmes of most relevance to the urban environment are listed below.

Community Co-operation Framework to promote Sustainable Urban Development

Under Decision 1411/2001/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2001 on a Community Framework for cooperation to promote sustainable urban development, the Commission can support networks of local authorities in the implementation of EU environmental law, sustainable urban development and Local Agenda 21. Proposals received for this 2004 call are now been evaluated.

URBAN II
Urban II is the Community Initiative of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for sustainable development in the troubled urban districts of the European Union. As a follow-up to Urban I in 1994-99, Urban II aims more precisely to promote the design and implementation of innovative models of development for the economic and social regeneration of troubled urban areas. It will also strengthen information and experience-sharing on sustainable urban development in the European Union.

INTERREG III 
is a Community initiative which aims to stimulate trans-european cooperation in the EU (cross-border, transnational and interregional co-operation). It is financed under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the budget is 4 875 million Euro for the period 2000-2006 (1999 prices).

The initiative is composed of three different strands with different objectives (see the website for details). The range of projects eligible for support is wide and includes: promoting cross border urban development, social inclusion, the protection of the environment, promoting renewable sources of energy, improving transport (particularly environmentally-friendly modes), co-operation among cities, spatial development strategies, efficient and sustainable transport systems, capacity building of local and regional development structures, protection and restoration of the environment. Its strand for transnational co-operation in particular follows the political options of the European Spatial Development Perspective.

ESPON 
The European Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON) is a programme financed jointly by the European Union, under the Community Initiative INTERREG III, and by the fifteen Member States , as well as by bother neighbouring and candidate countries. It is a network of cooperation between national spatial planning institutes and will focus on the observation and analysis of territorial and regional development trends in Europe, financing research studies in the field of spatial planning. A secretariat in Luxembourg provides coordination.

INTERACT (INTERreg - Animation, Coordination, Transfer) 
This programme is financed under the Community Initiative INTERREG III. It seeks to build on the experience and lessons of the previous INTERREG programmes and to improve the effectiveness of implementation of INTERREG III during the current programming period. It provides for exchange of experiences and networking, information dissemination and support to those involved in managing Interreg III programmes, as well as providing information on the INTERREG activities to national, regional and local actors and the public in general.