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| European Research : eu/un-habitat cooperation: EU, UN-HABITAT tighten cooperation to address urban planning

Progress in tackling urban planning has steadily gathered momentum between the EU and UN-HABITAT since they agreed 15 months ago in Barcelona to tighten links between their two organisations.
Tibaijuka / Valette
Mrs. A.Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, and Mr. Pierre Valette, Acting Director for the environment in DG RTD
© ICLEI 2005
One of the early joint EU/UN-HABITAT pledges – to establish a common database of research results in urban planning and development – is now bearing fruit. Joint work on the new web-based ‘Susta-Info’ database and portal project (www.susta-info.net link 1) started on 01 February. Susta-Info will support local authorities and experts in attaining sustainable development.

It offers practitioners in Europe and beyond unconstrained access to information on sustainable development and urban research programmes supported by both the European Commission and UN-HABITAT. It will also function as a valuable research tool for providing guidance to policymakers and urban policy workers regarding viable solutions for reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.

Susta.Info gives access to the EU’s Framework Programme research projects funded under the key Action, ‘City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage’. Moreover, recently EU-funded research projects on urban sustainability link 2, urban management, sustainable land use, water treatment and management and urban mobility will be included. Information about the projects will be combined with urban research projects supported by UN-HABITAT and case studies from the UN-HABITAT best practices database. Ultimately, Susta.Info should reach a target audience of 6,000 users once the project is completed.


Nanning event

Another example of EU/UN-HABITAT cooperation took place in November 2006 when urban planners from Europe and elsewhere around the globe gathered in Nanning, China to promote a ‘virtuous circle’ of knowledge between local urban planners and researchers. More than 320 government officials and scientific personnel from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe attended the “Nanning International Conference on Sustainable Urban Development link 3”, which was co-sponsored and funded by the European Commission and China’s Ministry of Construction.

The results of the Nanning event will be unveiled at the World Urban Forum III in Vancouver, Canada during 19-23 June, 2006. The conclusions will be presented as a joint publication regarding good practices in urban sustainability and planning. It aims to help close the research gap between regional and local authorities on one side, and practitioners on the other who have a direct stake in urban management.


South East Europe gets involved

More recently the EU’s Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe link 4 signed a cooperation agreement on 13 January 2006 with UN-HABITAT to improve social housing and urban development across the region. The agreement will help the region’s countries achieve essential reforms in the area of social housing and urban development and contribute to economic growth.

The United Nations’ Millennium Declaration commits the international community to promoting human development as the key to sustaining social and economic progress in all countries. The Declaration includes a commitment to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, a task mandated to UN-HABITAT, the UN’s human settlements programme. 


Milestones

  • 01 February, 2006. Work on joint EU/UN-HABITAT link 5 database known as Susta-Info gets off the ground. It will provide researchers a powerful reference tool and to inform decision-makers and urban planners in their search for solutions to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development.
  • 13 January, 2006. The EU’s Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe link 6 signs a cooperation agreement with UN-HABITAT to improve social housing and urban development across the region. The rapid pace of urbanisation in South Eastern Europe has accelerated due to rural-urban migration flows. It will address social housing and urban development challenges in general and will support a more equitable distribution of social and economic opportunities and environmental sustainability.
  • 9-11 November, 2005. The ‘Nanning International Conference on Sustainable Urban Development’ takes place in Nanning, China. More than 320 government officials and scientific personnel from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe attended the gathering, which was co-sponsored and funded by the European Commission and the PRC’s Ministry of Construction.
  • September 2004, World Urban Forum link 7, Barcelona, Spain. This saw the formal announcement of the closer relationship between the EU and UN-HABITAT and their first joint publication, ‘Creating a World of Sustainable Cities,’ which was offered in English, French and Spanish and Chinese. The report brought together case studies drawn from the research programmes of the European Commission and UN-HABITAT.

Links



Page URL: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/research/environment/themes/article_2322_en.htm

Links:
  1. http://www.susta-info.net/
  2. http://ec.europa.eu/comm/research/environment/themes/article_1354_en.htm
  3. http://ec.europa.eu/comm/research/environment/pdf/nanning_en.pdf
  4. http://www.stabilitypact.org/
  5. http://www.unhabitat.org/
  6. http://www.stabilitypact.org/
  7. http://hq.unhabitat.org/cdrom/wuf/index.html
  8. http://www.susta-info.net/
  9. http://www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2006/default.asp
  10. http://www.iclei-europe.org/index.php?id=2291
  11. http://ec.europa.eu/comm/research/environment/newsanddoc/article_3833_en.htm
  12. http://www.unhabitat.org/wuf/2006/default.asp
  13. http://ec.europa.eu/research/fp6/index_en.cfm?p=0
  14. http://www.stabilitypact.org/