The Urban Thematic Strategy (UTS) is one of 7 Thematic Strategies of the 6th Environment Action Programme. This is a new way of developing environmental policy for complex priority problems that require a holistic approach. The key organising principle for the UTS is sustainable development underpinning . The preparatory work to ensure effective implementation of the UTS in 2005 needs to be undertaken in the next 15 months. In particular, appropriate mechanisms must be put in place to monitor and assess pro gress during the Strategy, and to provide clear, realistic and appropriate medium term targets for the Priority Themes. The STATUS Project follows the central objective of the relevant SSP, Task 1, in aiming principally to develop locally-relevant targets for local authorities (LAs) across the EU to self-assess progress with urban sustainable development. To do this, a user-friendly on-line tool will be designed onto which will be entered a range of targets and related indicators. These targets will be dev eloped, through building on the synergies between the UTS themes, the Aalborg Commitments, Urban Audit, and European Common Indicators, and through intensive involvement of LAs at key stages of the Project. The tool will use the Lasala On-line approach as a starting point for its development. With this tool, LAs will be able to consult all the targets, and receive useful information on them. They can then select targets relating to the local context and enter relevant baseline data against these. It is a nticipated that a more refined version of the Prototype Tool would need to be developed (subsequent to the STATUS project) to permit LAs to regularly input data showing progress on the selected targets, and then receive feedback on this. The Prototype too l will be supported by detailed guidance on how to use and monitor progress on local sustainability targets, and a manual for LAs on using the tool.
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