80% of Europeans live in cities, a reality that is not necessarily reflected in the level of EU funding allocated to urban renewal.
Europe’s cities need long term investment and planning: more must be done in terms of clearing or redeveloping existing, often dilapidated housing stock and brownfield sites in order to redress significant population outflow to the suburbs.
The key to sustainable urban regeneration is to make Europe’s cities attractive and safe places to live, with accommodation that is accessible and affordable. The housing stock in most European countries, particularly new member states, requires maintenance and repair, but this must be done in a way that is sustainable – through working in partnership with community organisations, promoting social inclusion and increasing the energy efficiency of the residential sector. Lessons must be learned from the mistakes of the past, where the legacy of unsustainable, quick fix urban renewal can be seen in the many ghettoised, peripheral housing developments which scar Europe’s cities and provide a major obstacle to social cohesion.
A step froward has been taken the Leipzig charter for the development of Sustainable European Cities, constituted a key milestones in the history of EU Urban policies. The charter, agreed by all Member States in the informal Council meeting, in May 2007 in Leipzig, is now a key reference used in EIB loans agreement, Structural Funds operational programmes and project proposals.
The Member States are developing a common methodological framework to implement the Leipzig Charter and since then, regular high-level meetings and Informal Ministers meetings are organised by each Presidency.
CECODHAS HOUSING EUROPE will contribute to the consultation of the European Commission on the "city of tomorrow"
CECODHAS HOUSING EUROPE will make sure that the voices of federations of social, cooperative and public housign are heard, to influence the process for a sustainable and socially inclusive urban regeneration plan.