With the high level of Europe's urbanisation it is imperative to devote more effort to the sustainable development of cities. While urban policy is normally for the Member State and the cities themselves, EU-level initiatives can act more globally as a catalyst in helping the development of new tools and technologies needed in the medium and longer term. The overall goal of this key action is to help European cities and the associated urban regions to achieve sustainable economic development and competitiveness, improved management and integrated planning policy, and to help safeguard and improve the quality of life and cultural identity of citizens. This key action concentrates on issues where research can make a substantial difference to urban sustainability:
- tools for city planning and management;
- protection, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage;
- built environment; and
- urban transport.
The City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage Key Action aims to improve urban sustainability through delivering real, noticeable benefits to citizens throughout the EU by 2010.
It will achieve this:
- by concentrating these resources on four specific areas:
- city planning and management,
- cultural heritage,
- built environment,
- urban transport,
where action is urgently required, and where there is untapped technological potential and strong demand for new solutions from cities themselves;
- by focusing primarily on the integration and co-ordination of outputs from other EU and national research programmes, thus avoiding duplication of effort;
- by selecting only projects likely to have significant impacts, regionally and at European level, managing and clustering them with a view to practical implementation and the transferability of their results;
- by ensuring appropriate end-user involvement, and creating transnational networks with the capacity, opportunity and motivation to continue to exploit and disseminate results after the research phase is completed.
The Key Action has thus been specifically designed to ensure rapid, EU-wide take-up of practical new approaches to urban governance, planning and management. It is expected to produce, within a decade, measurable advances in economic development, environmental performance and quality of life which will directly benefit the 80% of EU citizens who now live in cities and large towns.
The programme is organised into four themes:
- Sustainable city planning and rational resource management
- Protection, conservation and enhancement of European cultural heritage
- Development and demonstration of technologies for safe, economic, clean, effective and sustainable preservation, recovery, renovation, construction, dismantling and demolition of the built environment, in particular for large groups of buildings
- Comparative assessment and cost effective implementation of strategies for sustainable transport systems in an urban environment.
The transport domain of the work programme of the Key Action City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage aims to provide city authorities with tools for better managing transport demand in the medium and long term. Such tools should ideally serve to develop strategies that:
1. Reduce transportation-related problems and externalities
2. Encourage greater use of collective and other sustainable transport modes (e.g. non-motorised modes such as walking and cycling) while limiting individual motorised vehicle movements
The Land Use and Transport Research (LUTR) cluster is a group of projects addressing these issues under the auspices of the European Commission's Key Action: City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage. It includes around 12-18 research projects and two coordinating programmes, with a total of 50 research partners in 20 countries, and an overall budget of 13 MEuro.
LUTR puts together different projects sharing a common objective - promoting sustainable urban mobility - but using complementary approaches towards this goal. The common objective is to develop strategic approaches and methodologies in urban planning that all contribute to the promotion of sustainable urban development. This includes issues of transportation demands and related land use planning, the design and provision of efficient and innovative transportation services including alternative means of transportation, and the minimisation of negative environmental and socio-economic impacts.The cluster aims to ensure consistency and co-ordination between the projects, researchers and stakeholders to contribute more effectively to reducing barriers to sustainability, and to improve exploitation and dissemination of results (especially towards city authorities).