Skip to main content

Launch of web-based instrument prototype for sustainable urban development

Starting in March 2011 and on a voluntary basis, some sixty cities will test the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities (RFSC) prototype, an internet-based instrument which helps local authorities pursue sustainable urban development policies and implement the Leipzig Charter for Sustainable European Cities.
Indeed, this Reference Framework will guide users through a series of questions on the economic, social, environmental and governmental aspects of sustainable development. This questionnaire will then allow for an assessment of whether the municipality's strategy or project is coherent with principles outlined in the Leipzig Charter and in sustainability in general.
The feedback obtained from the prototype's test phase will serve to finalise the Reference Framework and to determine how to successfully implement this web-based tool. The final version is scheduled to come out by the end of 2011.
The Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities is free of charge and has no preconditions for European funding. It is being developed by a working group composed of representatives from the EU member states, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), and the European Commission. A team of experts from CERTU, in France, is lending their support to the working group, which has been chaired by CEMR since September 2010.
How the RFSC came to be
In May 2007, ministers responsible for urban development adopted and launched the Leipzig Charter for Sustainable European Cities, which aims to support an integrated urban development approach with a special focus on deprived neighbourhoods.
When it came to the Charter's implementation, it was agreed that a real dialogue needed to be established between relevant actors in order to achieve true sustainable urban development. The aforementioned ministers thus decided to have a tool developed, which would eventually give birth to the Reference Framework for Sustainable Cities.