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IUME (Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe) shall better enable integrated urban assessments – understanding urbanisation in Europe and its impacts and potentials. The following open wish lists of questions shall support to build the IUME concept by pointing to the need for appropriate indicators and data. However, it is clear that the questions in the list need a further prioritisation as not all can be answered short-term.


General questions:

  • How is urbanisation developing in Europe and what is its impact on environment and quality of life in whole Europe?
  • Which potentials does urbanisation offer for a more sustainable Europe?
  • How can the negative impacts be reduced in order to maintain quality of life for all and long-term?


Specific questions:

Drivers of urban development in Europe

  • What is the impact of the following potential factors on the urban system - its consumption of land, energy, water, food, material and the production of waste and emissions, and
  • what is the impact of these factors on the environmental quality in urban areas – the quality of air, noise, water, climate, green/blue areas?
  • demographic changes (increase/decrease, aging, single households, immigration, migration …)
  • economic structure of cities (industry, services …)
  • economic situation of the cities, pressures of investors, competition between cities and between cities and hinterland
  • transport infrastructure, accessibility
  • land / real estate / energy / transport prices
  • <private car ownership
  • available choices for transport and housing
  • tourism
  • EU and national policies and funding in urban and non-urban areas, like cohesion policy, transport policy, social policy
  • quality of life in urban areas
  • climate change
  • spatial planning system
  • integrated / sectoral decision making
  • political and legislative system
  • culture including planning and political culture
  • income and living standards
  • local geography and environment
  • waste collection and treatment infrastructure (e.g. separate collection of recyclable waste streams or hazardous waste, recycling centres)



State and trends of urban development 

  • Where does urban built-up area extends? - Which regions in Europe? Or attached to which type of urban areas - bigger or smaller urban areas, between urban areas? Along transport infrastructure? Or other groupings?
  • What is the extent and speed of urban land-take in Europe, by Member State, (by region)?
  • Which forms does it take? – At the edge of cities and towns or inside? Compact or scattered (sprawled) …?
  • How do existing urban areas and urban land-take correlate with population developments in these areas (changing densities)?
  • Which pattern of sprawl can be identified against geographical and socioeconomic factors like GDP, size of UMZ, population density, income, car ownership, transport infrastructure, culture …? Or is no correlation possible?
  • What are the land use categories inside existing urban areas and how do they change? What is the degree of brownfield re-development?
  • How is the proportion of green/blue and sealed area inside urban areas developing
  • How much public space for social life, walking and cycling is available per urban area
  • Which spatial urban developments are expected for the future (based on trends like population loss or pressure, changes of accessibility, rise of income, changes in lifestyles, tourism etc.)
  • How much and where are / will be urban areas vulnerable against climate change effects (floods, sea level rise, droughts, temperature changes, land slides …?) and other natural hazards?
  • What is the environmental quality in urban areas – air quality, noise, water quality and quantity, waste water treatment, biodiversity?
  • What is the environmental health situation in urban areas and how is this related to the environmental quality of these areas?
  • What is the consumption of resources like energy, water, food, other material of urban areas and how is that related to the regional potential to deliver these resources?
  • How much do urban areas depend on their region? (e.g. ratio of the needed (virtual) area for housing, transport, food, recreation, energy, waste … in relation to the real area)
  • What is the share of renewable energy in urban energy consumption? Which energy fuels are used?
  • What is the transport demand, the modal split, the fleet composition?
  • What is the structure of the housing stock?
  • What are the emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases of urban areas?
  • How is the rate of recycling of municipal and industrial waste developing? Is the generation of municipal waste (per capita) and industrial waste (per GDP) increasing or decreasing?


Impacts of urban development  

  • How is the urban environment and the overall quality of life in cities perceived?
  • What is the contribution of urban emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases to the local, regional, transboundary or global situation and what are the related effects climate change, noise, health effects…?
  • Which land use classes are converted directly to urban areas and which are affected secondarily?
  • Which impacts have urban morphological forms and urban expansion on the transport development (commuting distances, demand, modal split)?
  • How energy efficient are the different urbanisation forms?
  • Which impacts have the different urbanisation forms and trends on biodiversity and ecosystem services (proximity to areas of environmental interest, contribution to fragmentation, up take of areas for flood retention, recreation, and competition to land for agriculture / biofuels …?
  • What is the impact of the urbanisation forms on the water balance, infrastructure for water supply and waste water?
  • How do current urban developments influence the potential to adapt to climate changes and other risk prevention?
  • How much are urban areas fragmented by transport infrastructure?
  • How does the accessible public space for recreation, walking, cycling change and support or hinder physical activity like walking, cycling, playing?
  • How does the quality of the urban space influence the demographic composition of the city? (E.g. migration to suburbia, social segregation …)


European response measures (as positive drivers) 

  • How effective are the EU directives on air quality, noise, and waste water, which are targeted directly to urban agglomerations?
  • How effective is EU guidance, information exchange, and research for the implementation of a sustainable urban development at the local level?
  • How effective contribute Structural Funds and other funding to sustainable urban development with good environmental quality inside urban areas and lower impacts of urbanisation on other areas?
  • How well functions policy integration between the different administrative levels concerning sustainable urban development?
  • How coherent is European policy concerning urban matters?

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