Project Backround

Some 75 % of the population of the Central Europe region lives in urban areas, a figure which is likely to continue to grow. Towns and cities are perceived as engines of regional development, offering a broad range of services and economic and cultural opportunities. However, urban concentrations of population bring a number of problems. The spread of urbanisation removes previously clear boundaries between settlement and surrounding landscape, putting great pressure on the natural landscape setting.

In many urban areas, the historic core is surrounded by physically separated new suburbs, which are nevertheless functionally linked to the urban centre, leading to growth in road traffic resulting in the loss of biodiversity and fragmentation of the natural environment.

In this context open spaces play a vital role. They have a direct influence on how local people and visitors perceive urban areas, how do they identify their self with them and how well social life is functioning. Urban spaces also influence economic prosperity. Their environmental importance is underlined by their potential to mitigate adverse effects of climate change, which are likely to be especially marked in urban areas. Urban development is not only about planning buildings and activities, but also about creating places having a positive impact on their surroundings. The design of high quality urban spaces, involving inputs from community groups, is also an increasingly important aspect of the planning process. Such places help to define the public life of a village or town by strengthening the "local spirit".

Ekopolis Foundation The Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation Statutory city of Brno, City district Brno Municipality of Sopot Municipality of Brzeg Municipality of Nagykallo Vienna University of technology ORA - Subregional development agency Karst - Brkini University of Applied Sciences League for the Environment Lombardy RiSSC  Research Centre on Security and Crime Local Development Agency La.Mo.Ro.