- Key elements
Europe is one of the most urbanised continents in the world, with some 75% of its population living in cities. The ongoing expansion of urban areas into surrounding countryside ("urban sprawl"), driven less by urban planning than by market forces, is becoming one of the main challenges facing Europe. The forces behind the dynamic processes of urban development are demographic change, the performance of urban areas in global economic competition and the application of technological innovations. Increasing consumption of energy and soil as well as the need for longer transport distances lead to serious environmental problems such as rising greenhouse-gas emissions.
In the first phase of the project, the trends of future urban development will be analysed resulting in a typology of urban forms (densities, spatial patterns etc.) and a typology of transformation patterns (fast or slow growth, expansion or inner-city densification etc.). Developing a number of mid- to long-range scenarios for selected European urban regions will allow to estimate the potential for restructuring thoses cities.