supported by the European Commission, DG Research, Key Action "City of Tomorrow and Cultural Heritage"
Project duration: March 2001 to February 2004
Co-ordination: UFZ Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Interdisciplinary Department of Urban Landscapes
The aim of the URGE project is to improve the provision of cities with green spaces, both qualitatively and quantitatively, thus enhancing the quality of life of the urban population and contributing to the sustainable development of European cities. One major objective is to increase the available knowledge of the complex interactions between nature, economy and social systems in urban environments, considering this as a premise to the development of modern strategies for the design and management of urban landscapes.
In the URGE
project, we consider urban green spaces as an important contribution to
the sustainable development of cities. The research group recognises the
potential of green spaces to improve the quality of urban life. However,
we are also aware that this potential is not being realised, as current
management practices have to be considered as sub-optimal.
The strategy of the URGE project is to initiate co-operative work between researchers from different academic disciplines and cultures, and the relevant practitioners, in order to deliver universally applicable, user-friendly results. The design of the project is both creative and progressive as it is:
The analytical optimisation occurs through the use of the different fields of research in conjunction with consideration of user demands. The catalogues of criteria will be compiled in the various specialist institutions, using "state-of-the-art" theory of the respective disciplines. Investigations will be carried out using the eight case study green spaces. Analysed data from the case study level will be integrated into the level of the whole city and vice versa. An additional flow of information will emanate from the reference cities. Input from interested researchers, planners and municipal representatives is also possible through a discussion platform.
The following cities participate in URGE:
as reference cities:
Co-operation and outcomes
The researcher group is characterised by its interdisciplinarity. It comprises several research institutions representing four different disciplines: ecology, sociology, economics and planning, located in different European countries. The Interdisciplinary Department of Urban Landscapes at the UFZ is in charge of the co-ordination, including the scientific co-ordination between the partner cities and research institutions, as well as the interdisciplinary co-ordination. During the workshops, the interim results will be reviewed and discussed by the consortium.
The main outcomes of the project will be: City profile: The catalogue of requirements for the city profiles will be published as an aid for inventories and further investigations about urban green situations. It contains a list of which kinds of information, e.-g. conditions and structure of urban areas, distribution of green spaces, types of green spaces, districts with a deficit of green, are needed to provide a basis survey.
Catalogue of interdisciplinary criteria (ICC): The catalogue of interdisciplinary criteria provides a tool for civil planning authorities and private planning organisations, for their use in the process of green space development. By its consideration of different situations and structures in different European regions, the catalogue will be applicable for planning authorities and institutions all over Europe. This catalogue also provides information about the combination and integration of criteria for interdisciplinary work in different fields of research and planning activities. The field-testing of the catalogue guarantees its high quality, its scientific methodology and its usefulness in local planning.
The resultant manual will be utilisable as a handbook by planning authorities and other planning institutions. This handbook will provide general and adaptable methods and measures for the sustainable development and management of urban green spaces. It will be based on the "catalogue of interdisciplinary criteria" and the "city profiles," and so it will include procedures for the analysis and evaluation of existing urban green structures and individual green sites. It will also contain information regarding good practice, effective planning instruments and preconditions for the use of different tools. It will take into account both the planning practices and the financial and cultural situations in the different European countries, as well as giving examples of best practice, definitions and explanations.
the beginning of the project, a network for communication and the
exchange of information has been established and will be continuously
managed. This network consists of several communication levels for different
kinds of users, supported by various media. By this means, scientists,
planning authorities, NGOs, planners and citizens will have the possibility
to be informed about project outcomes and are able to contribute suggestions
and criticisms to the consortium.
You can participate in the project as a registered user. Thus you will be regularly informed about interim results and milestones of the project work.