The Urban Agenda for the EU represents the first time cities have been offered a seat at the table of EU decision making. Yet, its emphasis on informal structures centred on collaboration, deliberately leaves open the question of what precisely this involvement should be.
EUROCITIES has been actively involved since the beginning via the 12 partnerships that are organised on different urban themes. The working method of the Urban Agenda for the EU revolves around recognition of the importance of the local level, the understanding that we have shared urban, and a multi-level governance approach that brings together different levels of government to find share solutions.
One year on it is too early to draw any conclusions on whether it is working, but the urban futures studio of Utrecht University has broached the question of how it can best enable cities to address urban challenges on a European scale.
Arguing that we are living in an ‘urban moment’ where the role of cities is increasingly recognised not only by the EU, but also at UN level, the paper looks at next steps.
The authors suggest that cities are practical by nature because they have to find solutions to problems happening on their streets and that the Urban Agenda for the EU fits with this sometimes experimental and collaborative method. However, infusing the urban agenda with collectively held images of the future could help define the way the EU deals with upcoming challenges.
Read the full paper here.