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The Sustainable Cities project

The Sustainable Cities project is part of the Community's Fifth Environmental Action Programme and aims to develop, promote, and exchange experience of ideas for sustainable development, and formulate recommendations for implementation at European, national, regional and local...
The Sustainable Cities project is part of the Community's Fifth Environmental Action Programme and aims to develop, promote, and exchange experience of ideas for sustainable development, and formulate recommendations for implementation at European, national, regional and local levels.

The project consists of two distinct parts:

- Firstly the "Sustainable Cities Report", which includes a report on policies for sustainable development in cities and a good practice guide, and;
- Secondly the "European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign", which encourages sustainable development policies in towns and cities throughout Europe through networking and offering support.

The Sustainable Cities Report investigates ways to apply urban management principles and tools to the following fields, placing emphasis on integration between them:

- Management of natural resources;
- The urban economy;
- Social issues;
- Mobility and accessibility;
- Land-use planning;
- Urban regeneration;
- Cultural heritage and tourism.

To ensure the widest possible distribution of the report, different targeted summaries are being drawn up to address specific priority groups. The first targeted summary, already available, is for local authorities. Others in preparation address businesses and citizens. Documents covering management and regeneration issues are also being prepared.

The campaign aims to encourage and support local authorities in working towards sustainability by promoting Local Agenda 21 and similar processes. This is in accordance with the mandate to local authorities under Agenda 21 which was agreed by the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

These objectives are being addressed by strengthening partnerships among all sectors at local level and between authorities. Any local authority may join the campaign by adopting and signing the European Sustainable Cities and Towns Charter, also known as the Aalborg Charter, and implementing the Lisboa Action Plan. Up to July 1997, over 320 European local authorities have signed the Charter, and are working towards implementing Local Agenda 21 and similar plans in their areas.

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