Important legal notice
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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To give policy-makers and strategists the tools to measure progress towards the sustainable development of Europe’s urban environment.”

The problem

The European Commission is compiling a strategy for the sustainable development of the urban environment, but the vast amount of information available could hinder its progress. A huge range of urban indicators and monitoring tools are in use, and more are being devised at European, national and local level. But they have different origins and objectives, and have generally been developed independently. Analysing, comparing and collecting the best of these indicators could provide the Commission’s strategists with the tools they need to implement the Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment.

TISSUE  Getting to grips with urban environment indicators


TISSUE will evaluate whether existing urban environment indicators are good enough to inform the Commission strategy, before deciding whether new ones need to be developed.

The project will:

  • Analyse levels of demand for such indicators and define how progress towards a sustainable European urban environment should be measured
  • Compare existing sets of indicators at the local level, and whether they can be used to assess trends at the EU level
  • Define a harmonised set of indicators
  • Create a structured database of indicators

Contribution to policy development:

  • TISSUE will help the Commission to prepare its Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Development of the Urban Environment
  • It will develop indicators to support the strategy
  • It will identify the trends that should be measured to gauge progress

Project deliverables

  • Identification of detailed trends to measure progress towards the sustainable development of the urban environment – July 2004
  • Assessment of sets of available indicators and definition of a harmonised set of indicators – October 2004
  • Indicator database and final reports – January 2004


  • European-level workshops and national seminars – throughout project
  • Creation of a website and publications – April 2004-January 2005
  • Establishing the database of indicators – December 2004

Technical information

Project acronym: TISSUE
Project’s official full title: Trends and indicators for monitoring the EU thematic strategy on sustainable development of urban environment
Research priority: 3.4. Forecasting and developing innovative policies for sustainability in the medium and long term
Specific webpage: Details not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 502427
Start date: 01/01/2004
Kick off meeting: 12/02/2004
Completion date: 31/12/2004
European Commission scientific officer: Vincent Favrel (

Name: Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT
Abbreviated name: VTT
Address: PO Box 1000, FIN-02044 VTT, Finland
Country: Finland
Tel: +358 9 4561
Fax: +358 9 456 7000


Name: Institute of Studies for the Integration of Systems
Abbreviated name: ISIS
Country: Italy

Name: Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment
Abbreviated name: CSTB
Country: France

Name: Econcept AG
Abbreviated name: ECONCEPT
Country: Switzerland

Name: The Czech Environmental Institute
Abbreviated name: CEI
Country: Czech Republic

Name: The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
Abbreviated name: TNO
Country: The Netherlands

Name: Ambiente Italia Research Institute
Abbreviated name: AMBIENTE-ITALIA
Country: Italy

Name: The Council of European Municipalities and Regions
Abbreviated name: CEMR
Country: Belgium

Name: Sustainable Cities Research Institute, Northumbria University
Abbreviated name: UNN
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Union of Baltic Cities
Abbreviated name: UBC
Country: Ten Baltic states

Name: The Regional and Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe
Abbreviated name: REC
Country: Hungary

Name: International Council for Local Environmental Initiaitves
Abbreviated name: ICLEI-EUROPE
Country: Germany

Name: Eurocities
Abbreviated name: EUROCITIES
Country: Belgium