Urban sprawl e Urban Agenda

Reports on city expansion and cementation are being written and published on a regular basis. Therefore analyses theories, hypotheses, recommendations, possible and/or creative solutions keep piling up… The problem is that they stay as they are, reports or ‘photographs’ which do not produce substantial changes to soil sealing.

So we would like to draw your attention to the European Environmental Agency (EEA) report entitled Urban Sprawl in Europe and the one by the Committee of the Regions entitled The Growth Potential of an integrated EU Urban Agenda.

The first one is a new report – issued in June 2016 – which relaunches the problem already highlighted by the EEA in 2006 (initially entitled ‘The Ignored Challenge’). It contains data from 32 European countries, but the conclusion is exactly the same of 2006: although urban growth is recognised as a challenge for balanced development, there is still no effective action for limiting and controlling it. This is becoming increasingly necessary and urgent.

The second report, also issued in 2016, is by the Committee of the Regions. It sets out a plan, the Urban Agenda, for assisting new settlements of people who are poor or suffering economic hardship, particularly migrants. The whole analysis is based on initiatives relating to urban and social space, whereas the natural environment is treated as a minor ‘problem’, and dismissed in a few paragraphs that refer back to the EEA report of 2006.