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Environment

Environment

Cities and their surrounding areas are responsible for large parts of energy use and CO2 emissions—therefore they have huge responsibilities to apply innovative solutions. In the new approaches towards the sustainability of future development, the changing economic conditions and the social effects of the interventions have always to be taken into account.

The heading ‘environment’ will not only concentrate on the narrow understanding of the ecosystems (air, water, soil quality/pollution) and the climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges. It will include urban sustainability and resilience in their broad sense, covering very different topics such as more compact urban forms, energy efficiency of existing and new buildings, innovative solutions in urban mobility and transport management, wide range of proximity food solutions, etc. The environment-based ideas have always to be linked to the economic challenges, as shown in theories on circular and sharing economies, taking also the job-creation aspects and the limits in public budgets into account. Similar importance has to be given to the distributional social effects of environmental interventions, corresponding to the needs/capabilities of the affected population. To achieve this kind of complex approach to the sustainability of development, innovative planning and implementation tools are needed, such as strategic thinking, multi-level governance, functional urban area and urban-rural linkages, participatory governance. 

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