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Urban Environment


Urban Issues at stake - European Commission policies and programmes for Urban Development

Inventory of the various programmes and initiatives which are funded by the European Commission and which have an urban dimension.

Making our cities attractive and sustainable - How the EU contributes to improving the urban environment

Overview of the ways the EU supports citizens and local governments in their efforts to make our cities sustainable, efficient, healthy, well managed, pleasant and clean.


The European Environmental Agency published a report on the quality of life in Europe's cities and towns. The report aims to raise awareness of the various perspectives on, and perceptions of, the quality of life with a specific focus on cities and towns.

Ensuring quality of life in Europe's cities and towns


Integrated Environmental Management - Guidance in relation to the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment

Following European Commission's commitment within the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment a Guidance document on Integrated Environmental Management Plans (IEMP) (pdf ~353 Kb), has been elaborated by the Environment DG. Requests for information in relation to this guidance should be sent by email to:

The text of the Guidance document is available in all official languages:
български cs da de el es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt sk sl sv

This document is not legally-binding but represents a synthesis of the information and experience available to the Commission. They are intended as a summary of the current state of the art with respect to best practice on integrated environmental management which recognises the diversity between conurbations across the EU. They should be seen more as a procedural aid and a summary of the key elements and good practice that could be considered when developing Integrated Environmental Management Plans at local levels.

The European Commission adopted the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment on 11 January 2006.

The Strategy is based on extensive consultation with stakeholders and builds on existing European policy initiatives for improving the quality of the urban environment. It sets out new measures to support and facilitate the adoption of integrated approaches to the management of the urban environment by national, regional and local authorities.

An Impact Assessment was prepared to support the development of the Strategy.

This website also gives information on the preparations for the Thematic Strategy, details of key policy initiatives relevant to the urban environment and provides links to different sources of support for local authorities (funding opportunities, results of research projects and sources of urban environment data).

The pilot European Urban Knowledge Network was launched ( on 27th October 2005. The pilot project led by the Dutch Government in cooperation with 15 EU Member States provides a network of national focal points to provide advice and information to cities on a wide range of issues, including urban environment. The network is now open for use.

The new Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution (COM(2005) 446) was adopted by the Commission on 21 September 2005.

Order your free copy of the EU Expert Group on the Urban Environment's report "European Sustainable Cities" (available whilst stocks last). To order, complete this form. The report is available in different languages.

How good is your Local Agenda 21 process? Use the new internet evaluation tool developed by ICLEI with European Commission financial support to find out and receive specific advice on how to improve it. Click here. Available in 20 languages.

How green are your buildings? With the financial support of the European Commission, Energie Cities has developed a label and calculation tool for energy use, water use and CO2 emissions in buildings. It will help authorities meet the requirements of the energy performance of buildings Directive (2002/91/EC). Click here. Available in French and English.