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Towards an Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe

Why do urban areas matter in Europe?

Urban areas are gaining more and more attention at European level. The majority of Europeans live there; as the motor of job creation and growth, cities play an important role in implementing the Lisbon Strategy and territorial cohesion; also, the EU Territorial Agenda and Leipzig Charter highlight the important link to urban development. To cope with the social, economic, environmental and territorial perspectives of urban development, its multiple, dynamic interlinkages, and the European dimension of the development, policy-makers need an appropriate information base and management tools.

Why this initiative?

A number of different European urban monitoring initiatives are ongoing. However, none of these offer the fully integrated approach that is sought, but many offer some elements. Coordinating and integrating these initiatives offers the opportunity to fill the gaps, improve the efficiency of work, and to provide in particular the needed integrated information base and monitoring of progress.

Our approach


To face these challenges and create the Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe (IUME) we identified three key elements that define the different lines of work and will provide recommendations for the development of the concept and integration of work:

  • Data is crucial to provide evidence and to quantify the urban development analysed at the appropriate scale. We try to identify the available data, data gaps, the links between different data sets and the appropriate tools to use them.
  • Questions regarding the urban development and its likely impacts are posed by policy makers and practitioners. Building the IUME concept, we try to considering answering their questions.
  • Understanding the urban system is crucial to reflect the interlinkages between the different drivers of urbanisation, arising pressures and impacts, and to identify appropriate response measures. It assists to develop the theoretical framework of the monitoring concept to link data and find answers to the complex policy questions.


How do we organise work?

The work is based on the partners’ awareness of the needs and challenges ahead and a shared concern to improve the situation. The different European partners working to  monitor and assess urban development in Europe collaborate by organising regular workshops that provide the right environment to share information about current developments, identify gaps, and agree on further individual and joint steps on a voluntary basis.


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