Friday, December 09, 2005

EU Ministerial on Sustainable Communities is Underway


I haven't had a chance to digest all of the information coming out of the European Union's Ministerial Informal Meeting on Sustainable Communities that took place in Bristol this week, but it should be interesting to monitor.

Issues of governance when it comes to developing urban policy are extremely important, but often overlooked. In the case of European cities, bringing an international level of governance into the mix is undoubtedly going to have significant impacts on metropolitan development.

The major keyword underlining much of the discussion is "sustainability." This is a highly contested term. Some have argued that the impossibility of pinning down its meaning makes it less useful for guiding policymaking. Nevertheless, it is interesting to see the discussion emerge from various quarters. Here is a copy of EU Commissioner Danuta Hübner's speech to the ministerial. Here you can find a report of British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's pushing for a "European Social Model" of sustainability. Finally, take a look at the Bristol Accord--the document emerging from the meeting to guide future discussions.

I will try and post on the substance of the Bristol Accord in the next week.