European Urban Charter
Charter without the status of a convention
The text of the Charter is available from the Secretariat of the Congress (firstname.lastname@example.org), as follows :
- electronic version : Spanish, German ;
- paper version: Italian, Hungarian, Russian, Turkish, Greek.
A. The European Declaration of Urban Rights1
CONSIDERING that the exercise of the following rights should be based upon solidarity and responsible citizenship implying an equal acceptance of duties, citizens of European towns have a right to:
1. SECURITY:- to a secure and safe town, free, as far as possible, from crime, delinquency and aggression;
2. AN UNPOLLUTED AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT:- to an environment free from air, noise, water and ground pollution and protective of nature and natural resources;
3. EMPLOYMENT:- to adequate employment possibilities; to a share in economic development and the achievement thereby of personal financial autonomy;
4. HOUSING:- to an adequate supply and choice of affordable, salubrious housing, guaranteeing privacy and tranquillity;
5. MOBILITY:- to unhampered mobility and freedom to travel; to a harmonious balance between all street users - public transport, the private car, the pedestrian and cyclists;
6. HEALTH:- to an environment and a range of facilities conducive to physical and psychological health;
7. SPORT AND LEISURE:- to access for all persons, irrespective of age, ability or income, to a wide range of sport and leisure facilities;
8. CULTURE: - to access to and participation in a wide range of cultural and creative activities and pursuits;
9. MULTICULTURAL INTEGRATION:- where communities of different cultural ethnic and religious backgrounds co-exist peaceably;
10. GOOD QUALITY ARCHITECTURE AND PHYSICAL SURROUNDINGS:- to an agreeable, stimulating physical form achieved through contemporary architecture of high quality and retention and sensitive restoration of the historic built heritage;
11. HARMONISATION OF FUNCTIONS:- where living, working, travelling and the pursuit of social activities are as closely interrelated as possible;
12. PARTICIPATION:- in pluralistic democratic structures and in urban management characterised by co-operation between all the various partners, the principle of subsidiarity, information and freedom from over-regulation;
13. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: - where the local authority, in a determined and enlightened manner, assumes responsibility for creating, directly or indirectly, economic growth;
14. SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT:- where local authorities attempt to achieve reconciliation of economic development and environmental protection;
15. SERVICES AND GOODS:- to a wide range of accessible services and goods, of adequate quality, provided by the local authority, the private sector or by partnerships between both;
16. NATURAL WEALTH AND RESOURCES:- to the management and husbanding of local resources and assets by a local authority in a rational, careful, efficient and equitable manner for the benefit of all citizens;
17. PERSONAL FULFILMENT:- to urban conditions conducive to the achievement of personal well-being and individual social, cultural, moral and spiritual development;
18. INTER-MUNICIPAL COLLABORATION:- in which citizens are free and encouraged to participate directly in the international relations of their community;
19. FINANCIAL MECHANISMS AND STRUCTURES:- enabling local authorities to find the financial resources necessary for the exercise of the rights as defined in this Declaration;
20. EQUALITY:- where local authorities ensure that the above rights apply to all citizens, irrespective of sex, age, origin, belief, social, economic or political position, physical or psychological handicap.
B. The European Urban Charter
1. Background to the Charter
The European Urban Charter is built upon the work of the Council of Europe on urban policies - work inspired by the European Campaign for Urban Renaissance, organised by the Council of Europe from 1980 to 1982.
This Campaign, a Europe-wide focus by public authorities and the public, on some key approaches to the improvement of life in our cities, concentrated on four main general areas:
- improvement of the physical urban environment;
- rehabilitation of existing housing stock;
- the creation of social and cultural opportunities in towns;
- community development and public participation.
In line with the human rights vocation of the work of the Council of Europe, the Campaign was dominated by qualitative rather than quantitative aspects of urban development; the slogan of the Campaign was "A better life in towns" ("des villes pour vivre"; "Städte zum Leben").
The Campaign subsequently led to a programme within the Council of Europe on urban policies, developed from 1982 to 1986 by an intergovernmental Committee (ie made up of representatives of national ministries responsible for urban questions).
In 1986 this programme was transferred to the Council of Europe's Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), following the logic of existing practice in many member countries whereby decisions affecting urban communities are made principally by local civic leaders and following the logic of decentralisation policies in other member countries, which gave increased responsibility for urban matters to the local tier of government.
From 1986 to the present day, a sustained programme has been developed, characterised by the organisation of a considerable number of "ad hoc" conferences and symposia; the preparation of reports and Resolutions, based on those reports, addressed to municipalities in Europe, on different aspects of urban development (e.g. health in towns; regeneration of industrial towns; policies for dealing with urban insecurity, crime prevention and drug abuse; architectural development and historic towns; self-help and community development in towns, etc). Details appear as an appendix to the Charter.
These events, developed in order to promote an exchange of experience and information between politicians, professionals and the public, together with other work of the Standing Conference on local democracy, decentralisation and participation (e.g. the European Charter on Local Self-Government), have provided the necessary background material for the Charter.
2. Purpose, Philosophy and Structure of the Charter
Drawing together into a single composite text a series of principles on good urban management at local level, the PURPOSE of the Charter is to:
- provide a practical tool and urban management handbook for local authorities;
- provide the principal elements for a possible future Convention on Urban Rights;
- provide the basis for an international award scheme for towns who subscribe to the principles of the Charter;
- constitute a "visiting card" for the Council of Europe on matters relating to the built environment and act, at the same time as a synthesis of the conclusions of the Council of Europe's work and particularly that of the CLRAE on urban questions.
In terms of its PHILOSOPHY, the Charter has a number of distinct, clear, underlying threads.
It has a firm local authority dimension, concentrating upon the specific responsibilities of this level of government for urban development.
It concentrates very much on qualitative aspects of urban development and quality of life considerations, in line with the overall vocation of the Council of Europe for the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights. In this sense, the urban work of the Council of Europe and its Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe is distinguishable from that of other international governmental organisations which have a valid urban component within their programmes.
It identifies a number of universal guiding principles, readily applicable from country to country in Europe where the problems of cities are very much the same in nature, if not in scale. This universality is particularly important, in that the Council of Europe is an expanding organisation, with progressively additional member countries following democratic reform in Central and Eastern Europe. The cities in such countries might well find much of value in the series of principles included in the Charter, arising from the experience of cities in countries where democracy has a more unbroken tradition.
A strong element throughout the Charter is the notion of collaboration and solidarity:
- between local authorities in individual member countries, in order to secure an improved quality of life in urban areas, recognising also the additional benefits, responsibilities and opportunities arising as a result of the involvement of Central and Eastern European countries;
- between national and local governments in securing and strengthening, through political and financial commitment, the devolution of decision-making away from the centre towards towns and their communities;
- between local governments and their communities, to examine and gain a closer understanding of the different needs of an urban area and involve local people in the decision-making process; and,
- significantly, between cities throughout Europe and beyond, transcending national boundaries.
The Charter is guided by the belief that citizens have basic urban rights: the right to protection from aggression; from pollution; from a difficult and disturbing urban environment; the right to exercise democratic control of their local community; the right to decent housing, health, cultural opportunity and mobility.
Furthermore, the Charter insists that such rights are applicable to all urban dwellers without discrimination in respect of sex, age, origin, race, belief, socio-economic or political position, physical or psychological handicap.
It is thus one of the responsibilities of local and regional authorities to protect such rights through the development of appropriate strategies.
In terms of its STRUCTURE, the Charter takes the form of a series of short, clear principles, relating to different aspects of urban development, accompanied by substantial explanatory paragraphs.
3. The town in Europe
3.1 The development and notion of a city
The town or municipality has always been the ideal place in which to gather, somewhere where community and social life is possible, without which, in the words of Thomas Hobbes life is "nasty, poor, solitary, brutish and short".
Towns and cities attract people who wish to live there, work there, go there as tourists or for cultural reasons. It has traditionally been the area for concentration of substantial resources and networks of influence.
The etymology of the word "città", "cité" and "ciudad" (stemming from the Latin "civitas") encompasses two fundamental concepts - a material, archaeological, topographical and town-planning notion, the city as the venue for human congregation and, in the words of the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia, a "historic and legal phenomenon that has come to provide the characteristic, fundamental nucleus of life in society."
The Greek word "Polis" also suggests the two concepts of both the medieval city in the territorial sense, as a collection of buildings and spaces, and the city in the legal sense, as a community of people politically organised for the achievement of common aims.
The same concepts lie behind the French "cité", Spanish "ciudad", etc.
Currently, the town or city is increasingly identified with the "municipality" (commune, municipio, Gemeinde, comune), as an "autonomous area body comprising a community of residents with certain interests", an inhabited centre "with organised building development, public services and its own administration".
Cities, however, are complex entities. They differ considerably in terms of urban development and size. Their identity, although rooted in history, is constantly changing. Over time, most towns and cities have evolved in the light of new requirements, ideals, lifestyles, standards of living and a new quality of life.
politicians or members of the public have been enlightened or where they have collaborated; or for the worse where this has not been the case.
New problems have arisen, through the development of urbanisation and urban sprawl. Beginning in the 19th century, associated with the Industrial Revolution, streams of people migrated into cities, drawn by jobs and wealth, theoretically leaving poverty behind.
The process is still continuing in many European countries. In others, especially in recent years, decentralisation or reverse migration from the city towards suburbs has taken place - not only at weekends, but also more permanently by the search for a healthier, less polluted environment, a different job or more amenable surroundings.
Fortunately, there are many examples of cities which function well and which provide their inhabitants with a satisfactory quality and way of life; where a balance is struck between economic development and retention of a high quality environment; where high levels of participation, neighbourhood and community development, a sense of belonging and pride exist.
Many cities, however, are not so well off and reflect in a magnified way a wide range of societal difficulties and painful adjustments: inner city decay, engendering a descending spiral of deprivation for their populations; deterioration of historic centres; excessive traffic densities; noise, air and soil pollution; shortage of good quality, affordable housing; social and health problems; generations and ethnic groups no longer respecting each other's differentials; high unemployment, particularly among younger people; unfamiliar and alien surroundings; neighbourhoods which have become unsafe and insecure through high levels of crime and delinquency, mostly drug-related.
Some cities no longer meet the most elementary requirements of livability.
3.2 The city and its surroundings
The boundaries of the city are never the limits of urban society. The city needs its surrounding region for functions which are often considerable consumers of land, eg airports; for a variety of settlements for urban dwellers and for open air recreation.
Conversely, the region needs the city for its services (cultural, medical, retailing) and for jobs.
Too egotistical management of the city and the suburbs separately is causing:
- imbalances, eg costly urban services, theoretically available to all within the conurbation are mainly paid by the city - often poorer than the outlying suburban areas;
- low costs of development in suburban areas prevent the city from developing its own potential;
- the city consumes environmental resources of the surrounding region (energy and water) and returning waste and pollution.
A balanced development of the city with its surrounding region is required - reflected through regional planning, active collaboration between cities and local authorities within the surrounding region and joint decision-making. The result is the harnessing of respective potential for mutual benefit, avoidance of unnecessary mobility and more rational use of environmental resources.
3.3 Local democracy
It has not always been the case that members of the public have had sufficient opportunity to put forward their requirements through existing institutions and become involved as of right in the democratic process of urban development.
This shortcoming is particularly serious in that the way towns function conditions the effectiveness in defending democracy and rights. If they function well, they are a guarantee of human rights; if they function badly, these rights are threatened.
The basis of urban development must be direct citizen participation, within a local authority which itself enjoys as much autonomy and fiscal independence as possible.
3.4 The raison d'être of urban policy
The transformation of an unsatisfactory urban condition to one which becomes as satisfactory as possible for as large a number of people as possible is achieved through an amalgam of determined local political will and urban planning proposed by teams of skilled professionals.
This twin political and professional approach is what constitutes urban policy.
A wide range of factors affect urban life and need to be taken into account in a comprehensive manner - the economy, technology, socio-cultural factors, legislative framework. Any action taken in towns thus requires considerable analysis, study, knowledge and responsibility.
Urban policy "is concerned with an examination of the relationship between resources, products and movements, aimed at resulting in objectives and services, promoting the development of the municipality, associations and individuals within it, within an overall perspective of sustainable development". (René Parenteau)
Urban policy affects the community as a whole and individuals in many aspects of their private lives. It is a major public act of intervention and direction and should therefore be the fruit of constant, regularly renewed co-operation between elected representatives and the public. It is part of the democratic institutional heritage of towns and cities.
3.5 The city of the future
Choices need to be made now if the city of the future is to be liveable, agreeable, beautiful and healthy. Existing unsatisfactory conditions should act as an incentive to reviewing the current underlying conception of cities and towns.
This review must be built around the coordination of all people and professional categories concerned: city dwellers, administrators, politicians, officials, professionals, those who work in it - a coordination in contrast to many of the tenets of the Athens Charter.
An ideal city is one which succeeds in reconciling the various sectors and activities that take place (traffic, living working and leisure requirements); which safeguards civic rights; which ensures the best possible living conditions; which reflects and is responsive to the lifestyles and attitudes of its inhabitants; where full account is taken of all those who use it, who work or trade there, who visit it, who seek entertainment, culture, information, knowledge, who study there.
A city must also strike a balance between modern development and retention of the historic heritage; integrate the new without destroying the old; support the principle of sustainable development. A town without its past is like a man without memory. People leave traces of their lives and their work and their personal history in cities, in the form of neighbourhoods, buildings, trees, churches, libraries. They constitute the collective legacy of the past, enabling people to feel a sense of continuity in their contemporary lives and prepare for the future.
Cities must function and be managed, in the belief that urban problems cannot be limited to purely financial mechanisms or questions, nor by traditional means of functional town planning. Municipalities must seek to use methods drawn from other the experience of national governments and/or the private sector.
3.6 Co-operation between towns
Reflecting the reality that towns have a fundamental role in regional, national, European and world-wide development, it is essential for them to be involved in networks of co-operation and exchange on the regional, national and international levels, through twinnings, contracts, membership of international associations and non-governmental organisations.
3.7 Rights within towns
The respect, promotion and extension of human rights, for all individuals in towns - irrespective of sex, age, origin, race, age, belief, social, economic or political position, physical or psychological handicap - is essential.
This includes, amongst other rights, those to:
- provision of suitable, well-located and well-lit housing and dwellings of sufficient size, with adequate amenities, reasonably priced and reflecting anti-pollution requirements;
- preventive health measures; to the provision of greenery, space, sunlight, silence, vegetation, beauty;
- the interlinking of the various functions of city life;
- cultural opportunity, sport and leisure facilities, social development, to free circulation, incorporating a harmonious balance between all street users (public transport, private cars, the pedestrian and cyclists);
- provision for community facilities; measures against poverty; particular help for the disadvantaged;
- security; work; well-being; training and education possibilities; culture and history.
4. Individual Chapters
4.1 THEME: Transport and mobility
Throughout history, man has striven to extend the radius of his activities and has always had, as a consequence, a determined incentive to improve transport techniques.
With each advance in transportation, human life has been altered; the effects of pedestrian, horse, railway, car, bus and merchandise transport, can be seen superimposed in today's cities.
The implications and importance of such mobility are many. Choices can be made about the environment in which one would wish to live and work, with whom one wishes to interact.
However, since its appearance in 1884, the car has often dominated transport policies, bringing in its train the degradation of public transport systems.
The car versus the town - perhaps an over-simplistic view, but very nearly the case. Slowly but surely, cars are killing towns. By the year 2000, a choice will have to be made; it will be one or the other: both cannot be kept.
If nothing is done, if no new discipline is imposed, road traffic, particularly private cars and lorries, will destroy not only towns, but contribute considerably to the destruction of the global environment via the "greenhouse" effect.
Cars threaten towns through noise, discomfort, psychological and physical insecurity, loss of amenity and social space, atmospheric pollution.
Although it enables well-off inhabitants to leave the town, there is a price to be paid in additional heavy commuting patterns. Furthermore, the organisation of efficient and economically-viable public transport in sprawling suburban areas that come as a consequence is often impossible.
Overall, it brings about cultural and social loss; it contributes to the decline of the town as a place for living, for contact, activities and culture.
Dealing with this problem is not a case of an overly isolationist or egotistical attitude of town dwellers directed against other types of human settlement or other less congested areas. It is rather a contribution by them to a common effort to save the planet from the threat of the adverse side-effects of excessive growth.
1. It is essential that the volume of travel, particularly by private car, be reduced
Extensive land use and the separation of functions, the two planning principles which have been advocated and applied over the last forty years, have led to the current impasse, whereby (a) towns themselves are congested and abandoned by the middle classes; (b) sprawling suburban areas have been created where the organisation of efficient, economically-viable public transport is virtually impossible. Thus, the key conquest of the 19th and early 20th centuries, carried to current extremes, produces perverse effects and has become as much a liability as an asset. In its most tangible and visible form, it imposes unavoidable travel for citizens living in one place, working in another, seeking essential services and goods in yet another, transporting their children to and from schools elsewhere.
The key solution is a new land use planning strategy, both inside the town, favouring the "compact" town and outside the town, aiming at the integration and juxtaposition of housing, employment and other functions.
The growth of small and medium-sized firms in the manufacturing, tertiary and quaternary sectors should be associated with housing and residential areas in their immediate surroundings. "Computer based" work at home is not a solution because of its adverse desocialising effect.
2. Mobility must be organised in a way which is conducive to maintaining a liveable town and permitting co-existence of different forms of travel
It is clearly neither possible nor advisable to eliminate travel, but it should be feasible to reorganise the different forms of travel within an overall aim of creating a town in which it is a pleasure to live, rather than following specific sectoral objectives.
This means giving as much priority to public and/or collective transport, bicycles, pedestrians as to the individual transport of people and goods. It means restrictions on access by heavy traffic, whether delivering goods or not. It means the examination of innovative measures to control street use, for example, the alternating use of both time and space; part-time pedestrian use; alternating hours, days, periods of the week or of the year. It means the creation of cycle paths; carefully planned pedestrian zones; out-of-town parking, accompanied by frequent low-cost, safe and reliable public transport to reach central urban areas.
3. The street must be recovered as a social arena
The loss of the street as a social, living space contributes to the decline of a town and an increase in insecurity.
Improved safety, security and social harmony therefore means the physical recovery of the street, through broader pavements; pedestrian precincts; control of traffic flows through appropriate street planning and layout; the careful use of one-way streets.
It means the protection and upgrading of open space through high quality and durable redevelopment; good quality street furniture, public signposts and commercial signs; facade regulation; provision of vegetation, greenery, water, fountains, statues and sculpture.
It means the development of attractive, high quality private, commercial or public activities on pavements, terraces and cafe frontages.
It means the elimination as far as possible of extraneous noise.
4. A sustained educational and training effort is required
Significant changes cannot be brought about without a revision of behavioral patterns by individual citizens, whose increasing concern for the environment is not always matched by an equivalent willingness to change their own ingrained behavioral patterns.
Local authorities have a clear responsibility to support and develop consciousness-raising campaigns, in order both to shift behavioral patterns and inculcate in town dwellers the belief that the street belongs to them, is communal property, but that as a corollary, the street must be used harmoniously and respected.
4.2 THEME: Environment and nature in towns
Far too often, many present day towns are agglomerations of stone, concrete, steel, glass and asphalt, with, where they exist, generally monotonous stretches of grass or wasteland of little use.
The atmosphere and the ground have been polluted with noxious elements and emissions from industry, energy plants, traffic and private households. Wildlife has been driven out of parts of towns and residential vicinities.
Never before, therefore, has it been as urgent to establish nature conservation areas and develop the use of vegetation as an element in planning of open spaces and districts. They give each town its character, furnish it with an interesting dimension, have a decisive and recognisable influence on the overall townscape, without which a city loses parts of its individuality.
Towns must have "lungs" to enable people to escape from the built environment and experience nature. Vegetation and animals are part of the self-development of the individual and enable children born in an urban environment to come into contact with nature.
Local authorities should be good housekeepers of their natural heritage. They have a responsibility to improve resource-management, attain environmental quality, protect natural systems by stimulating clean and healthy local production, transport and consumption.
Above all, it should be recognised that Nature and Town are not mutually exclusive concepts.
1. Public authorities have a responsibility to husband and manage natural and energy resources in a coherent and rational manner
The principle of sustainable development requires that local and regional authorities accept fully their responsibilities in using limited resources (energy, water, air, soil, raw materials, food) and equally assume responsibility for dealing within their own boundaries with pollution, domestic and toxic waste, produced by them, rather than shifting them to other areas or leaving them as a legacy for future generations.
An increasing number of towns seek their resources from elsewhere, often causing disruption at source. Where possible, they should keep to derive their resources from within, the town being viewed as a complete ecosystem. Technical improvements and innovative measures, eg garden allotments, compost sites,
small-scale domestic heat and power plants, use of solar and wind energy, can be used to husband resources and reduce the strain on municipal budgets.
2. Local authorities should adopt policies to prevent pollution
Towns suffer heavily from pollution deriving from industry, traffic and private households, particularly domestic heating.
Temporary, short-term measures - eg, discharging solid and water wastes into rivers and lakes, burning or recycling waste, should be replaced by reduction of emission at source, application of clean technology, appropriate traffic management systems, use of alternative fuels, etc.
New industries should be required by local authorities to select and avoid certain materials, re-use packaging materials, develop alternative energy resources. Local construction industry should be encouraged, via building codes, to use materials conducive to health and production of a good indoor climate in buildings.
However, the development of new technology and improvement of legislation is not enough, without an informed public opinion applying pressure on the political process. The role of information is thus crucial.
This implies provision of information about clean technology to local firms; a network of information and advisory centres; pioneering new approaches.
Equally, consumers can be informed on emission reduction, the use of appropriate indoor material, the avoidance of certain packages and cleaning substances.
3. Local authorities have a responsibility to protect nature and green spaces
Green areas, nature conservation and landscape programmes are fundamental elements in urban areas, contributing to air quality and a decent urban climate.
Wild plants, biological gardening, choice of appropriate species, the re-use of particular sites, eg overgrown cemeteries, riverbanks, railway sidings, etc, can accommodate a wide spectrum of flora and fauna, supporting their own systems.
Greening roofs, walls, courtyards, etc, can create a variety of habitats for different plants and animals. City farms and study gardens for children play a valuable role in the establishment of direct contact with nature - essential if a responsible relationship with nature and natural resources is to be created.
Priority areas for nature protection should be established via an analysis of local conditions (biotope mapping). The use of vegetation in open spaces should be encouraged and should reflect local, historic and natural characteristics.
4. Nature conservation is a factor in developing community involvement and pride
Vegetation can be used as a means for stimulating community and individual pride in one's locality and an identification with it. This can be done through the development of allotments, roof and winter gardens, adventure playgrounds, recovery of semi-public areas for biotopes around tenement blocks, green trails, nature and school gardens and field study centres.
4.3 THEME: The physical form of cities
A townscape is the culmination of a process of urban design and construction of a diversity of buildings, with their surrounding spaces, over a period of years.
The way in which this townscape is conserved and developed and the way in which inter-related issues of safety, comfort, convenience and appearance are dealt with are important considerations in the pursuit of an improved urban environment.
1. City centres must be safeguarded as important symbols of the European cultural and historic heritage
European historic centres, with their buildings, urban spaces and street patterns, provide an important link between the past, the present and the future; they contain priceless elements of the architectural heritage; are places which enshrine the city's memory; establish a sense of identity for present and future generations and are key factors in establishing a sense of solidary and a sense of community between the people of Europe.
Solutions to urban pressure in historic centres require a careful balance between their traditional emphasis on dense and diverse developments and new large-scale uses demanding space and accessibility at an accelerated pace of development and change.
The manner in which new development is made to blend within historic areas is a fundamental architectural issue which city centres are having to face in Europe as well as other parts of the world.
Means for protecting historic buildings must be combined with the careful design of new buildings inserted into urban centres, taking care nonetheless to encourage architectural innovation. Skilful attention to detail can play an important part in evolving an appropriate urban form.
2. The provision and management of open space in the city are integral parts of urban development
Open space – pavements, minor streets, tree-lined boulevards, avenues, parks, playgrounds, riverbanks, railway concourses, traffic-free areas, gardens and allotments - are as much basic components of European cities as their buildings.
Well-designed and planned open space increases the attractiveness of a city and thus contributes to its economic prosperity or revival. It assures a human dimension and provides the opportunity for collective life, acting as a sort of public living room for the locality.
Cultural activity and human well-being requires that there is space to linger, amble, play and meet.
In providing for and developing new open spaces, the needs of inhabitants and their patterns of behaviour must be respected and reflected, as must architectural character and quality, both in scale and detail.
The introduction of trees, vegetation, colour, light, shade, choice of materials, is important. Such open spaces should be designed furthermore so as to give maximum scope for inhabitants themselves to be active and creative.
Good upkeep of open space should be maintained, whilst avoiding it becoming a form of prohibition or unreasonable regulating control on behaviour.
As far as possible, the creation and management of open space should be neighbourhood based, through partnerships between local authorities, community groups and the population as a whole. The direct involvement of residents has a self-policing effect and can be useful in combatting vandalism.
3. Architectural creation and development play a crucial role in the quality of the urban townscape
The character of a town is to be found in its contemporary architecture and architectural heritage.
The attractiveness of the town may be improved by upgrading existing buildings and ensuring that new ones are both attractive and blend with their existing surroundings.
Architecture must be free to express itself and reflect different needs. Architectural competitions have a key role in generating new ideas.
4. All persons are entitled to a healthy, safe, settled, pleasant and stimulating living environment
The physical form of cities, particularly the nature of housing in its wider neighbourhood setting, plays a key role in the development of a high quality urban environment.
This is achieved, at least in part, through protection of residential areas against air, water, soil and sub-soil pollution; the creation of environmental protection and buffer zones, parks, gardens and allotments; diversion of heavy traffic causing disturbance; the supply of a variety of cultural and sporting facilities.
Citizens needs to be given full opportunity to express their ideas and influence decision-making in respect of the form of their surroundings and any changes that may occur to it.
5. The vitality of a town depends upon balanced urban residential patterns and the maintenance of the residential character of the city centre
Local authorities should have the necessary power to protect the residential character of the town centre, establishing limits to selective appropriate practised by powerful economic interests and encouraging conversion and rehabilitation operations.
Equally, social diversity in the central residential areas should be maintained.
4.4 THEME: The urban architectural heritage
Urban architecture is made up of a heritage of elements considered to be of enduring significance, preserved to protect a town's identity and memory. This may include natural elements, ie the result of location, topography and climate, as well as man-made elements, the product of human skill and artistic and cultural values;
This heritage is often complemented with additional elements in response to temporary or permanent needs, fashions or pressures, which have themselves become permanent.
This urban heritage constitutes an important and irreplaceable part of the urban fabric, crucial for the identity of a city and its inhabitants. It hands down to future generations a system of cultural reference, establishing the context and consciousness of Europe's common history and future.
The urban heritage consists of monuments, groups of buildings and sites, as indicated in Article 1 of the European Convention of the Architectural Heritage.
A particular and often neglected part of urban heritage is that arising from periods of industrialisation - factories, machines, bridges, ports, warehousing, etc.
This urban heritage is often threatened by ignorance, disuse and deterioration of every kind.
Local authorities are in the best position to deal with and assume responsibility for conservation and maintenance of the urban heritage.
The structure of historic centres and sites is conducive to a harmonious social balance. By offering the right conditions for the development of a wide range of activities our old cities favoured social integration. By the conservation of an old building a district's character might be preserved and improved.
1. Urban conservation requires a carefully constructed legal framework
Whilst responsibility for conservation is in the hands of public authorities, individual buildings are usually in private possession. A legal framework is needed to regulate respective rights, responsibilities and conflicts between these two agents in order to ensure protection of the heritage.
Public authorities must provide appropriate supervision and authorization procedures to prevent disfigurement, dilapidation, substantial alteration, change of character or demolition of protected individual or groups of buildings.
Such legislation should give authorities the power to require the owner of a protected property to carry out restoration work, accompanied by appropriate financial aid, if possible; to carry out work itself if the owners fails to do so or compulsorily acquire protected property.
Such legislation should also provide for the establishment of a comprehensive register or inventory of the urban heritage. This register, arising from a widespread survey of historic buildings within a town, should also try to identify threats; adaptive re-use possibilities, particularly of the industrial heritage, which can be brought to the attention of prospective purchasers; and potential new heritage.
The legislation should also provide for the creation of protected heritage zones or conservation areas, where authorities would control and guide conservation through use of skilled craftsmen, traditional materials, original colours, etc.
2. Conservation of the urban heritage requires policies for information
Adequate conservation can only be achieved through increased awareness among the general public and the individual owners of heritage of its value.
This requires use of modern communication and promotion techniques, with special attention being directed at young people, as from school age.
Policies, the philosophy and knowledge about conservation should be extended beyond the narrow circles of architects, archaeologists and historians to town planners, politicians, building developers and the business community.
Voluntary work camps; self-help campaigns and sites constitute not only practical ways of participation in conservation, but also have a useful didactic spin-off effect.
3. Adequate and often original financial mechanisms and partnerships are necessary
Conservation of the urban heritage is a heavy financial commitment, both in respect of buildings or groups of buildings themselves and in equipping adequate administrative services administrative services to implement national, regional and local conservation policies. Often beyond the resources of public authorities, funding requires partnership with the private sector and incentives to private individuals, e.g. tax and fiscal incentives to encourage restoration rather than demolition; differential VAT ratings on buildings; sale of historic property at reduced price on condition that full repair and conservation is carried out, particularly before re-sale; long-term loans; creation of restoration foundations; development of revolving funds; increased use of patronage and sponsorship.
For heritage in the ownership of public institutions, eg railways, they should accept responsibility for maintenance of historic properties in their care.
4. The maintenance and sometimes revival of specialised crafts and techniques are essential
Specialist conservation training is for three main categories of craftsmen: young people intending to take up a craft, craftsmen wishing to retrain or specialise and specialist craftsmen seeking to advance skills. These different needs require different types of training provision. Training should open up career and social advancement opportunities, which are essential to the upgrading of the status of craft trades.
5. Urban heritage must be integrated into contemporary life via its incorporation as an essential element in overall planning
The guiding principle of integrated conservation is to include the protection and conservation of the urban heritage as an essential planning objective. This implies that a conservation programme should be based on an overall approach. Teams for heritage conservation should be multidisciplinary and work in active collaboration with other sectoral policies - economic development, culture, housing, environment, etc.
Care must be taken to ensure that town does not become an open-air museum. Restoration must ensure that buildings have a valid contemporary life. Public authorities must provide a framework in which buildings become self-conserving.
6. Economic development can often be stimulated by conservation of the urban heritage
Conservation of the heritage can often mean successful urban economic regeneration. It increases the attractiveness of a city, both for tourists and the business sector. Adaptive re-use of old, particularly industrial, buildings can often be sound economic solution, providing opportunities for housing, hotels, business/office centres, etc.
In that conservation work is labour intensive, it can relieve unemployment. It enables savings to be made of energy, raw materials and infrastructure.
4.5 THEME: Housing
Towns have always attracted people and communities, anxious to shelter in the shadow of a "fortress", the core of which has always been housing.
Access and the right to housing is enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
A home is the personal space of the individual, the place with which the occupant identifies basic urban existence; the community's basic living cell.
Housing is generally the largest single item of expenditure in the lifetime of an individual and the housing stock occupies the greater part of a town's built-up area. Along with work, recreation and transport, it is one of the principal functions of city life.
It is a key factor in securing a healthy safe, settled, pleasant and stimulating living environment; conversely, if it is deficient or inadequate, it is a key element in insecurity, violence, segregation, intolerance and racism.
1. The urban dweller is entitled to privacy in the home
Home is the only genuinely private space for an individual, where there must be maximum guarantee of finding security, tranquillity and protection of personal property.
Local authorities legislation should be designed to provide absolute protection of this privacy and freedom from intrusion by representatives of public and private organisations; to develop programmes and campaigns aimed at bringing the individual/room ratio as near as one-to-one as possible and by establishing and firmly applying standards with regard to noise, partition walls, outlook and freedom from being overlooked, etc.
2. Every person and family is entitled to secure and salubrious housing
Home must constitute a secure and safe environment conducive to physical well-being, where the individual can recover energy and strength needed for everyday life.
This is to be achieved through the establishment and monitoring of safety standards in building; the compilation of an inventory of insalubrious housing, permitting either its demolition and replacement or restoration; through close collaboration between local health, security and accommodation services.
This also implies that housing be provided with and surrounded as far as possible by green spaces, allotments and gardens - the natural complement to adequate housing.
3. Local authorities should ensure diversity, choice and mobility in housing
Towns and their local authorities should offer a wide choice of housing accommodation, with a variety of styles and standards, to fulfil all needs and ensure that the housing stock and residential environment support a balanced community.
The supply of housing must match the needs of persons and families - needs often fluctuating as a result of changes in lifestyle and socio-economic conditions.
Local authorities should ensure diversity of housing, occupancy status and location and target public intervention on market inadequacies. Deterrents to residential mobility should be reduced, ie reduction of taxes on changes of estate and property and more flexible periods of notice enshrined in tenancy contracts.
4. The right of persons and families in the most disadvantaged categories cannot be safeguarded by market forces alone
In a predominantly market economy, access to home ownership depends on the householder's present and continuing solvency. Entry into the market and the right to accommodation becomes therefore discriminatory and unreliable in respect of certain categories of person, eg the elderly, disabled, the unemployed, single parent families, some sections of immigrant communities.
Housing policy should thus be a local authority responsibility, which should have the capacity of direct intervention to achieve the social objectives of housing policy and encourage in addition the private sector to do so.
5. Local authorities should ensure that opportunities to purchase housing are available and that security of tenure is achieved
Local authorities have a duty to ensure that the opportunity to purchase housing at a reasonable cost is available and, accordingly, should promote all possible arrangements for accession to home ownership. Where legislation permits tenants of public housing to purchase property, local authorities have a responsibility to replace accommodation units in the public sector.
Equally important is the right to security, ie that tenants who pay their rents do not live under threat of eviction or loss of their tenancy in other ways. Right to accommodation implies the right to be able to become part of a local community - often impossible without long-term security in accommodation.
Such rights are best safeguarded by clear individual or collective property deeds and tenancy agreements; by precisely worded contracts by all the parties involved.
Equally important is the encouragement by local authorities of individuals and tenants' associations to participate in housing administration; to accept different forms of housing arrangements, eg housing co-operatives.
6. The redevelopment of older housing must not be undertaken at the expense of the existing social fabric
Too often, the provision of new homes through rehabilitation programmes of older property, often in central urban areas, results in the original residents being forced to leave because of their subsequent inability to pay increased costs and rents consequent upon such rehabilitation.
Local authorities therefore should take care to ensure that housing programmes based on rehabilitation be accompanied by appropriate financial and fiscal mechanisms to ensure, as far as possible, that the original residents can benefit from the general improvement of the area.
4.6 THEME: Urban security and crime prevention
Crime, particularly drug-related, has increased to the point in European cities whereby it has become one of the principal political, public and professional preoccupations concerning urban society.
Security is the concern of everyone. The right to a town cannot be fully enjoyed unless the inhabitants' security is guaranteed and unless fear of crime is reduced.
Local authorities are at the basis of attacking the root causes of delinquency by means of an appropriate social development policy giving everyone a chance to find a rightful place in local society, in restoring social ties and developing mutual support structures and partnership-based action programmes.
1. A coherent security and crime prevention policy must be based on prevention, law enforcement and mutual support
Crime has a wide variety of causes. The responses must therefore be both diversified and coordinated.
This means the establishment of partnership structures at the local level involving elected representatives, officials, police officers, magistrates, social workers and associations, in order to analyze the causes of crime, the efficiency of action already taken and future programmes of action. This must also be associated with a system whereby, once a penalty has been applied, efforts are made immediately thereafter to integrate the offender and ensure reparation for the victim.
2. A local urban security policy must be based on up-to-date comprehensive statistics and information
A local security policy must be based on clear information and comprehensive statistics.
This means the establishment of detailed crime statistics (plotting of places and times of offence, origin of offenders, etc), victim surveys and up-to-date reports from victim associations, social workers and specialist education workers.
Such a mechanism must be the basis for the work of the local partnership body and a local crimewatch service.
3. Crime prevention involves all members of the community
One of the principal causes of crime is social alienation and the difficulties encountered, particularly by young people, in identifying with a culture, the family, the school or society as a whole.
Measures include concerted action to improve the urban environment, help for young people in health, recreation, training and employment matters. Particular attention must be paid to sections of the population in difficulty, not by creating special structures but by means of comprehensive approaches incorporating economic integration and housing.
4. An effective urban security policy depends upon close co-operation between the police and the local community
To reinforce its effectiveness, the police must maintain a dialogue with citizens and their representatives, with the aim of coordinating action with that of other bodies active in the community.
This involves defining local surveillance procedure on a partnership basis, particularly in respect of the zones and timing of local beats and mobile patrols; in taking part in educational efforts aimed at groups of young people; through participation with judicial authorities in the debate on prosecution policy; in advising public authorities and citizen groups on reduction of opportunities for theft, technical protection of property, neighbourhood watch schemes; in supervising the activities of private police services and ensuring, in liaison with the social services, that calls and complaints are followed up, even those which have no immediate penal implications.
5. A local anti-drug policy must be defined and applied
Drug addiction, arising from the range of factors which generate crime, is itself a cause of crime, where it is involves trafficking and where it involves dependent persons committing crimes in order to obtain drugs. Whilst the prosecution of dealers is primarily a matter for specialist police and judicial authorities, the local community as a whole must organise itself to reduce demand.
This is done through an initial survey or diagnosis of the situation by a specialist group working in partnership with health and social services, through the development of information programmes, particularly for young people inside and outside schools.
It involves programmes for training liaison staff and community workers, teachers, youth and social workers who are in touch with individuals. It is also necessary to consider conditions for distribution of syringes and substitute drugs.
6. Programmes for preventing relapse and developing alternatives to incarceration are essential
Prison, the very experience of which can lead to higher rates of recidivism, must be reserved for the most serious crimes.
Alternative forms of penalty must be developed which both guarantee systematic and rapid response by society to any criminal offence, whilst aiming to reintegrate the offender into the community as rapidly as possible and prevent further offenses.
Such alternatives to incarceration could include community service and work on sites outside the prison; through linking probation and judicial supervision of the offenders more closely with reparation for damage suffered by their victims; through developing better links between prison and town, for example, including educational and cultural activities in prisons and associating the community closely with preparations for release.
7. Support for victims is a key component of any local security policy
Victim aid schemes and support programmes are a moral duty for society and a parallel to efforts made to integrate offenders.
Such measures would include the establishment of public or associative victim aid units which would provide support and guidance for victims; ensuring that complaints addressed to police and courts are routinely followed up and information given on action taken; by measures to make giving testimony easier - acting as a witness is a way of helping a victim.
8. Crime prevention must be recognised as a priority and thus command increased financial resources
Although high levels of criminality and delinquency are generally recognised as being one of the principal scourges of life in European cities and although preventive mechanisms are widely discussed and publicised, local authorities still do not have at their disposal sufficient financial resources to address such problems.
Increased funds therefore should be allocated for coordinated structures to prevent crime; improved methodology; adaptation of police work; definition of an anti-drug policy; programmes for the avoidance of relapse; victim aid and alternatives to incarceration.
4.7 THEME: Disadvantaged and disabled persons in towns
One of the fundamental rights of any citizen should be free access to all the social activities and facilities of the town, without distinction of sex, age, nationality or physical or mental ability.
As a general rule, however, our cities strive to cater for the needs of a population of working adults in their prime and in full possession of their faculties.
Often ignored are categories of citizens experiencing momentary or permanent problems of adjustment, such as pregnant women, children, elderly people, certain sick people, the disabled.
For certain disadvantaged categories, enjoyment of basic individual rights is only possible through the comprehension and assistance of other urban dwellers.
1. Towns must be designed in such a way that all citizens have access to all places
All commercial, administrative and public buildings; socio-cultural, sporting, health and religious facilities; streets; public places; cultural, social and other events must be accessible to all people, whatever their disability or handicap.
If necessary, facilities or special time slots for different population groups could be conceived, eg swimming for babies, sport for the disabled, children's sections in libraries.
However, the right to frequent and use public buildings and amenities must not, at the same time, produce undue inconvenience to other users or be based on measures which are unrealistic or too costly.
Local authorities could create a safety and access committee for all buildings and premises open to the public, including premises yet to be built.
It would also involve training public and semi-public service staff to deal with and assist citizens suffering from some form of handicap and policies for making people aware of the existence of other less fortunate members of society, from a very early age, teaching them tolerance and encouraging integration.
2. Policies for the disadvantaged and disabled persons should aim to integrate and not over-protect
It is neither possible nor psychologically, socially or economically advisable to design or equip towns as protective cocoons for those in a position of weakness or suffering from handicap. An over-protective environment must be avoided in favour or one which enables children, elderly and disabled people to adjust to their environment and participate fully in the normal everyday life of the community, side by side with able-bodied adults.
Over-protection results in an encouragement of the welfare state mentality and the formation of castes, detrimental to the verve and pugnacity of the population groups concerned; to a disruption of relations between social groups and to a phenomenon of rejection.
Care also should be taken to avoid concentrating, in the same sector of activity, facilities designed for a given social group.
3. Co-operation with and between specialised associations, representing disadvantaged or minority groups, is essential
Associations play a positive role in representing and defending the interests and fostering the integration of disadvantaged or minority groups.
Close, constant consultation must take place on a regular basis between the different associations and between them and the various bodies responsible for urban planning and socio-cultural activities and policies.
Consultation in the design stage, not just during development and implementation, enhances the quality of the services provided and improves the efficiency of integration measures adopted by the local authorities.
Such consultation should be done in respect of planning the urban environment as a whole; detailed schemes for streets, public spaces, amenities and transport; on building regulations and with planning permission applications.
4. It is important to ensure that houses and workplaces are suitably adapted to the requirements of the disadvantaged and disabled
Social life is based on an infinite interplay of encounters and exchanges. All places should be easily accessible to all, and each and every individual should feel as secure and as comfortable as possible at home and at work, whatever his or her age and state of health, so that every citizen is in a position to develop his or her facilities to the full.
Yet, housing, the workplace, residential districts and individual dwellings are often ill-suited to particular groups.
In respect of young people, remedial measures should include sound insulation, privacy, play areas and safety; for teenagers, meeting places, physical recreation and privacy; for the elderly, measures to reduce isolation, insecurity and inaccessibility, to provide assistance, means of calling for help and meeting places; for the disabled, appropriate measures in transport, toilet facilities and widespread availability of technical devices to alleviate physical handicap, impaired hearing or vision, for people who walk slowly or with difficulty.
5. Travel and communication and public transport must be accessible for all people
The free movement of people and goods is a basic individual right, yet for some categories of people, travel and communication are a problem.
This right extends to those groups who are at a disadvantage because of their age, physical or mental ability, knowledge of the language and local customs. Their use of different resources and facilities must be encouraged, via more extensive use of universal pictograms; translations; appropriate signposting of paths for pedestrians and cyclists; intensive practical language and information training for ethnic minorities; the use of new interactive user-friendly information systems.
4.8 THEME: Sport and Leisure in Urban Areas
Sport and leisure cover a broad spectrum of physical activity: play and physical recreation; purposeful participation and the improvement of performance; and the attainment of excellence.
They meet deep-seated feelings in individuals and the community. The concentration of people in urban areas and corresponding pressures of urban living both allows and demands the provision of a variety of sports opportunities.
Sport provides the means of interaction for individuals and communities, bringing them close together. It can help, particularly with young people, in giving them a sense of direction and avoid social alienation. It can help in the fight against drug abuse and exclusion.
Everyone has the right to participate in sport, up to the level of their interest and ability, thus improving their lives through a sense of social and physical well-being.
1. All urban dwellers have a right to take part in sporting and recreational activities
In line with the provisions of the Sport for All Charter, local authorities, either directly or by enabling others to do so, have a responsibility to improve access to sport and sports facilities for all people, irrespective of social background, economic situation and income, age, or ethnic group.
This is done principally by:
- removing psychological, social, economic and physical constraints which presently prevent many urban dwellers from taking part in sport;
- devising special, positive policies, sports development and coaching programmes to assist those with special needs, targeting groups such as the young, women, the old, disabled people, ethnic minorities, the unemployed and the low paid - to take part in sport;
- providing a network of basic sports facilities covering the whole of each town or urban area;
- ensuring that such facilities include small-scale units within easy reach of homes, fitting in to local communities so that local populations can identify with them, encouraging a sense of ownership and thus reducing vandalism and delinquency;
- ensuring that publicly-provided sports facilities complement those organised by the voluntary and commercial sectors and that such plans are drawn up and implemented in consultation with users;
- ensuring that proposed sports facilities provide for present and future needs, tackling existing urban areas and those to be developed, bearing in mind likely levels of participation, transport links, etc;
- providing opportunities to play traditional as well as modern sports;
- planning in urban areas yet to be built or providing in existing urban areas open spaces, wooded areas, playgrounds, stretches of water and cycle paths in order to foster and stimulate recreational activities.
Facilities for sport and physical recreation may be: existing resources such as open space, play areas, woodlands, rivers, canals, ponds, gardens and allotments; installations such as natural and synthetic grass pitches, tennis courts and athletics tracks; and buildings such as sports centres, swimming pools and ice halls.
2. Sports facilities should be safe and well designed
Urban sports facilities should blend with surrounding buildings and townscape, showing and contributing to a sense of place.
Their design and materials should be selected in order to be attractive to all sectors of the community, enabling them to participate safely and in a healthy manner.
Style and layout should meet the needs of managers and users. Major sports facilities, such as football stadia should be designed in order to guarantee spectator safety, minimise delinquency and violence.
In planning very large sports facilities for major events, subsequent use of the facilities within the locality should be borne in mind, eg the transformation of athletes' residential accommodation thereafter into housing.
3. All urban dwellers have a right to be able to develop their expertise in sport up to their individual potential
Many people who attain a basic level of proficiency in sport feel a need to improve on it in order to sustain their interest in sport, maintain their pride and dignity in themselves and achieve personal fulfilment. In improving their performance and, perhaps, in attaining excellence, they provide models for and encourage emulation of non-participants, particularly for the young and impressionable.
Sometimes those proficient in sport earn an adequate living as professionals, thus contributing to local economies.
The needs of those improving their proficiency in sport are different, more complex and more demanding than those enjoying basic participation.
This means that public authorities, in consultation with the sports federations, should designate and appropriately equip some of the basic sports facilities to serve the competition and training needs of high standard sportsmen and women.
This should be accompanied by structured programmes of coaching, training and competition.
4.9 THEME: Culture in Towns
Local and regional authorities play a vital role in the provision of artistic and recreational facilities, the promotion of cultural activities and the achievement of cultural democracy.
They thus should have the right and the capacity to formulate and implement a cultural policy, in the light of a town's specific cultural tradition and the cultural characteristics of its population as a whole.
Architectural creation, language, the arts, music, literature are all expressions of the rich storehouse of history and the collective memory of a town; barometers of change in lifestyles and social patterns and components of the cultural heritage and experience. Culture is the range of a people's acquired concepts; literary, scientific and artistic traditions and knowledge.
Specific geography, topography, climate and living conditions within each locality give a specific characteristic to such culture, enabling citizens to identify with a particular area.
Cultural policy can contribute to economic and social development. In a wider setting, it is a factor in enabling citizens within their towns to understand, identify, recognise their particular roles and goals within an interrelated European network of contact and exchange.
1. All urban dwellers have a right to culture
Culture involves everyone. It should not be treated as the domain of a privileged few or an elite, but rather a vehicle for stimulating the creativity and imagination of all social groups. The universality of cultural democracy is embodied in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. The cultural development of towns contributes to their economic and social development
Cultural policy contribute to economic development; to the creation of a sense of community; it is a fundamental element in formal education at all levels from primary to adult education; can be a powerful means for achieving public participation in the affairs of a community; can help with the social regeneration of disadvantaged sectors of the population. It is thus a key element within a comprehensive urban policy; part of an overall policy for the improvement of the quality of life in towns and in the promotion of human rights.
3. Cultural exchange is a powerful bond between peoples of different nationalities, different regions and nations
Local authorities should recognise that the transfer of cultural experience of their towns to others plays an important role in creating mutual comprehension and respect.
4. Cultural development and genuine cultural democracy involves extensive collaboration between local authorities and community groups, the voluntary sector and the private sectors
Cultural development is not simply the responsibility of local authorities alone. They should seek to enlist, by a variety of means - for example fiscal incentives - greater involvement of industry and commerce in patronage of the arts and cultural creation. They should consider maximum support for neighbourhood groups which aim at cultural innovation and transfer to community groups responsibilities or activities.
5. Cultural pluralism presupposes experiment and encouragement of innovation
Part of the richness of cultural activity derives from its spontaneous, innovative nature, not deriving from organised or institutionalised structures.
Successful cultural development must also target and recognise the particular needs and contribution of specific groups of the population, for example, young people and, significantly, immigrant communities.
Local authorities should recognise this through appropriate allocations within municipal funding for cultural activities.
6. The balanced promotion of cultural tourism by local authorities can have a beneficial effect on their community
Cultural tourism is a growth industry throughout Europe; historic towns, cultural and artistic events attract visitors in growing numbers.
The benefits to local authorities are clear: increased prosperity; improved local employment prospects; extension of the range of amenities available to residents, beneficial "spin-off" effects on the building industry, on specialised crafts and, above all, an increase in the mutual knowledge and respect of different cultures and communities.
Such benefits, however, can only be ensured and potential negative effects avoided, through devising a tourist and cultural management plan which closely involves local residents, the private sector, representatives of the tourist industry and local authorities.
4.10 THEME: Multicultural integration in towns
Full and active membership of the local community in which one lives should be at the basis of any multicultural urban society.
However, too often, such a principle is not respected. Immigrant communities coming from other countries; minorities with different traditions, cultures, languages and religions are not always accepted or integrated into the community.
Too often, their experience of urban life is synonymous with social exclusion, solitude, fear and poor standards of living.
Local authorities, for their part, have little power to make decisions on immigration policy laid down by governments, yet they must deal with problems occasioned by high levels of immigration, in reception, town planning, schooling, public health and other areas of policy.
Multicultural integration is the key both to an improved way of life in towns for migrant communities and a source of cultural and economic enrichment for local authorities and their town as a whole.
The vocation of a town is one of hospitality and inclusion of groups of different cultural background, which should be called upon to live together, collaborate and co-operate, recognising that the result is of benefit to the urban community as a whole. In such a way, the notion of European citizenship, based on active democracy, a sense of belonging to a community and free expression of different beliefs is advanced.
1. Non-discrimination is a fundamental aspect of urban policies
Local authorities should adopt or reinforce legislation against discrimination, in order to ensure equal access to all citizens - irrespective of race or ethnic origins - to public places (streets, transport, hotels, shops, theatres, cinemas, etc); employment training; schools; housing; cultural activities and other aspects of life in towns.
Such access should be guaranteed by joint bodies composed of representatives of municipal authorities and those of neighbourhood associations and the moral authorities of different communities.
Immigrant communities, furthermore, should have the right to establish their own local associations, in order to defend their interests and affirm their cultural identity.
2. Local authorities should ensure effective participation by immigrants in local, political life
Towns are encouraged to put into operation the principles of the European Convention on the Participation of Foreigners in Public Life at Local Level, which recognises the right to vote and be elected in local elections for foreigners having legally resided in the country for a specific period of years.
Local machinery should also ensure adequate access by immigrant communities to public enquiry and public consultation procedures.
3. Cultural and educational policies in towns should be non-discriminatory
Acceptance of differences and a capacity for tolerance are the basis for an equitable urban society.
This implies policies which ensure multicultural and anti-racist education, incorporating an acceptance of the cultural requirements of minority groups; dialogue and exchange between different cultures and religions; equal possibilities for expression of worship.
4. The provision of equal access to employment must be a concern of public authorities
The principle of equal treatment in respect of working conditions for immigrant communities is stipulated in the European Convention on the Legal Status of Migrant Workers.
Such equality must be a constant concern of public authorities. Appropriate measures could include the encouragement of the establishment of businesses, firms and other economic activities by disadvantaged groups; access for resident foreigners for posts in the public and semi-public sectors. Particular emphasis should be laid on combatting clandestine employment through the strengthening of legislation, reinforcement of controls and encouragement of employers to offer job opportunities to disadvantaged groups.
5. Multicultural integration implies full integration of immigrant communities into the social and physical urban environment
Housing programmes, rehabilitation schemes and public facilities should aim to avoid social and ethnic ghettoes, ensure a mix of population and be open to the needs and customs of different minorities, cultures and lifestyles.
4.11 THEME: Health in towns
Cities have a unique potential and role to play in health promotion and the maintenance of health. The major determinants of health are the physical and social environment in which people live and the nature of their lifestyles.
The aim of municipal authorities should be to promote and implement healthy public policies in all aspects of urban life.
In particular, it is important to harness political commitment, to recognise and reduce health inequalities; the special health needs and wishes of disadvantaged groups; and create, through inter-sectoral collaboration, supportive environments for healthier lifestyles, ie making the healthier choices the easier choices.
It is also particularly important to create social conditions which enable people to look after themselves individually and collectively and provide general care in the event of sickness or accident.
1. The urban environment must be conducive to good health for all citizens
This is done by developing a comprehensive urban environment policy; managing waste, monitoring air, water, soil and sub-soil pollution; reducing and monitoring noise pollution; by totally eliminating dangerous waste; by taking protective measures in the event of natural disasters affecting the natural and man-made environment; by keeping the most sensitive urban areas and populations under constant review; by providing special facilities for the disabled; by generally promoting community development and social renewal.
2. A reliable and durable supply of goods, meeting the fundamental needs of people, is a major factor in ensuring good health
In the urban environment, human beings wishing to obtain goods essential to their development and survival are in a situation of dependency. Such goods must be accessible, equitably distributed and not be a cause of additional stress to consumers.
This is done by making available a healthy and safe supply of drinking water; by monitoring the supply and distribution of non-durable consumer goods; by practising food quality control and issuing precise regulations regarding the manufacture of
foodstuffs and the cleanliness of places where food is consumed; by issuing precise policy statements regarding the priority of supply and distribution of major public utility infrastructures.
3. Local authorities must encourage community-based health initiatives and participation
A healthy society is one which enables people to look after themselves, individually and collectively and provide general care in the event of sickness or accident.
This is achieved by providing decentralised health care at neighbourhood level; by giving active support to voluntary organisations and groups concerned with public health; by providing for citizen involvement in the work of advisory and decision-making bodies concerned with health care administration (community health care departments, hospital and clinic management committees etc); by developing community health care training for specialists and volunteer workers.
4. Urban health, a matter of international importance, involves the coordination of municipal action with international programmes
The principal objective of international exchanges between towns is to enable individual towns within such a network to develop, via an exchange of experience and information, new public health; define joint action; legitimize health initiatives and develop explicit political commitment.
This means that municipalities should be encouraged to join international environmental health movements, particularly the "Healthy Cities" project of the World Health Organisation which is based upon the "Health for All" strategy and the European Charter for Environment and Health at the Local Level.
4.12 THEME: Citizen participation, urban management and urban planning
The European Charter of Local Self-Government outlines the principles of local autonomy and local finance, if such autonomy is to be realistic. This text should be used as the basis for local authorities in defining their approaches to citizen participation and local democracy.
Without the principle of local democracy, human rights in towns are precarious.
The satisfaction of physical, social and emotional needs can only be established and respected through an open dialogue between official management and individual members of the urban community.
Management of a town must therefore be conducted in order to ensure that those people, whose rights and property are affected to a significant degree by proposed administrative acts and decisions are informed of them, have their views heard and thus become an active part in the decision-making process.
No single action at any one level of management must be taken, if the consequences of that decision extend beyond those people and that level which it is meant for. If this is the case; it has to be elevated to the managerial level immediately above so that the necessary decisions can be taken within a comprehensive context.
This comprehensive view must replace the current vertical system of urban management, which has created a series of isolated public sectors, defined by specialist views of various city functions with watertight administrative boundaries.
Current urban management is often viewed by citizens as incomprehensible, time-consuming and uneconomic.
1. Citizen participation in local political life must be safeguarded through the right to elect representatives, freely and democratically
The exercise by citizens of their right to participate in local democracy is safeguarded, first and foremost, through delegation of decision-making powers to elected representatives, who have subsequently the authority to exercise them and to implement policies, programmes and projects for the well-being of citizens living in the area.
This is achieved by creating the conditions in which political parties may emerge and flourish; by guaranteeing the rights of all residents, male and female, to participate in the election of local political representatives, without discrimination on grounds of origin, social position or wealth.
2. Citizen participation in local political life must be effective at all levels of the local, political and administrative structure
At the time of their election, local representatives are not given a detailed mandate covering all local affairs throughout their term of office, and must therefore return to the electorate at regular intervals for consultation on particular issues. Also, there is a tendency for local government staff, with their long-term appointments and job security, to acquire a degree of autonomy in their relations with the elected politicians; the population must be involved in overseeing the machinery of administration and also the way it works.
This is achieved by recognising local interest groups and institutionalising citizen participation in local political life (provision for citizens to be represented on committees and boards directly responsible to the Executive), and in the operation of the administrative machinery (board of control, complaints tribunal, ombudsman).
The use of a referendum is essential where elected local representatives, whilst possessing a general mandate, do not have one for a new particular problem or policy.
3. Citizens are entitled to be consulted over all major projects affecting the future of the community
Citizens are the grass roots of local democracy. They are the partners of elected representatives and local government officials, in planning and managing the community. In order to exercise these duties, they must be informed about all principal plans conceived by their elected representatives and officials.
The outcome of consultation on projects affecting the urban environment in the widest sense must be open to inspection by elected representatives, developers and members of the public.
This is achieved through developing formal public consultation procedures; by providing guarantees of the impartiality in the process of consultation; by allowing free access to all public documents; by publicising all projects on site; through publishing an official local interest news sheet; through allowing recognising and enhancing the role of voluntary organisations in bridging the gap between local government and the general public.
4. Urban management and planning must be based upon maximum information on the characteristics and special features of the town
Every town has its own identity, to be preserved and asserted. Its regional affiliation, its location, its population, its spatial extent, its hinterland, its weather, its form, its colour, its origins, its history, its function - all of these are elements which mark it off from other towns.
Deciding priorities and making proposals are not a matter for a single professional, any one single unit or for chance. Such decisions must be based upon an initial and regularly up-dated analysis, covering the city's special features, potential, activities, development capacities and resources.
Urban development patterns and urban policies can be worked out more reliably and inspire greater confidence if the area they cover has been thoroughly explored, and its capacity for change defined and delimited.
Such analysis will include a survey of human capacities, geographical and topographical features, the need to provide for human self-fulfilment, strike a balance between individual freedom and projects benefiting the community, health and safety, raising of cultural and artistic standards and, on the other hand, promoting growth and development.
Should be involved in the plan beforehand, all those individually or collectively concerned - the best way of identifying obstacles to be overcome.
5. Local political decisions should be based on urban and regional planning conducted by teams of professionals
Local political decisions must be based on comprehensive and up-to-date information and a variety of reasoned choices proposed by teams of urban and regional planning professionals.
Urban planning is the science of assessment by professionals and analysts of projects, programmes, strategies or plans shaping the physical, social, economic and environmental structures within a city. It should be based on balance, ie between growth and conservation; the achievement of sustainable development and the resolution of conflict.
Such planning should always be associated with a process for evaluation, ie assessing the worthwhileness of what is proposed and reviewing and analyzing, after the event, whether predictions and decisions were justified. Such evaluation thus concerns feasibility, political acceptability, conformity with higher levels of policy.
6. Political choices, the final stage in the decision-making process, should be vital and comprehensible
Once data on the past have been collected, the technical constraints and solutions surveyed, future alternatives subjected in some cases to simulation testing, economic conditions studied and resources secured, it only remains for the political authorities to made a choice. This choice must be sufficiently vital and comprehensible to motivate and involve the community.
7. Local authorities should ensure the participation of young people in local life
Local authorities should ensure that future citizens are given opportunities to participate in local life at a very early age, in accordance with the principles set out in the Charter on the Participation of Young People in Municipal and Regional Life.
Such participation is a decisive factor in securing social cohesion and creating in young people a commitment to democratic institutions and organisations.
It is achieved by a deliberate local youth policy based on the provision of equal opportunities and coherent interlinking of sectoral policies - concentrating upon the specific requirements of younger people - for employment, housing, environment, culture, leisure, education, training and health.
4.13 THEME: Economic development in cities
The opportunity for employment is the right of every person of working age in the community, in order that they can participate through their own endeavours in the fruits of what the urban area has to offer. With this expectation the urban users look to local authorities to facilitate and stimulate the provision of employment, particularly for young people seeking their first job, in association with other governmental bodies and the private sector. Local authorities have a role of economic enablers, assisting enterprises and creating conditions within a town which are favourable to economic development.
Urban areas play a significant part in the national economy; they have an economic base in production, distribution, exchange and consumption. The economic development of a town is essential, if it is to make a contribution to the standard of life of its users (residents, those travelling to work or to shop, visitors from outside and tourists from abroad).
Such development should be associated with social development and environmental protection and other measures aimed at the improvement of quality of life in general in urban areas.
1. Local authorities should ensure the economic development of their communities
Traditionally, local authorities have seen their role as providers, administrators and managers of certain kinds of municipal services, generally financed out of revenues which they raise, in association with central government.
With the changing nature of towns and the expectations of urban users, municipal authorities must see their towns as a vector for economic change and development and view their towns accordingly as economic organisations, for production, distribution, exchange and consumption.
2. Economic and social development are inextricably linked
There is a clear link between the way urban users carry out economic activity through employment and the way they spend the product of that employment on their non-economic lives (leisure, culture, religion, etc).
Local authorities are concerned, therefore, not only with standard of living, but also with quality of life.
Implications of growth should be assessed, not just economically, but also in terms of the implications of that growth for the human environment.
Individual self-development is the most important element in socio-economic development plans and urban management. It should recognise the differing requirements over the life cycle of individuals.
Sustainable development, ie striking a balance between economic development, environmental protection and social improvement, should be the overall objective of urban economic growth.
3. A town is economically and socially part of its surrounding region or hinterland
Local authorities, in preparing their plans, policies, strategies, proposals and programmes for their administrative areas, must examine the inter-relationship of their town within its region.
This is needed in order to take into account the competitive and complementary plans of other municipalities and assess possibilities of collaboration, eg joint access to resources (water, minerals, etc); where residents of one jurisdiction work in or use the services of another; where the needs of a particular area require natural or man-made resources from another.
This involves establishing working relations with other local government jurisdictions; with higher level administrative levels with planning responsibilities for a wider area.
4. Economic growth and development depends upon an infrastructure adequate to produce, sustain and increase that growth
All growth requires appropriate supportive infrastructure: transportation, telecommunications, utility services, social and communal facilities, etc. This has been traditionally a major function of public authorities, providing much of the infrastructure without which the urban area cannot survive.
It is thus a responsibility of local authorities to identify any gaps in current infrastructure and provide for them in all their plans for socio-economic development, with its associated policies, proposals, strategies and programmes.
5. Collaboration between the private and public sectors is an important component in urban economic growth and development
Whether it be capitalist countries seeking deregulation or former socialist countries seeking more market participation, the relationship between government intervention and the market economy is being re-examined everywhere.
In local government terms, this has involved, for example, seeking to enrol the private sector in the pursuit of public objectives, and in opening up public services to competition.
Traditionally, the provision of infrastructure has been the responsibility of the public sector. However, given that this infrastructure is of great benefit to other sectors and that local authorities cannot always afford improvements to infrastructure required by economic development, consideration must be given to a reallocation of responsibilities for the provision of such infrastructure.
Collaboration with the private sector, particularly in training and educational programmes; provision of social facilities; regeneration, through partnership, of inner city areas, is essential.
C. Resolutions and Opinions, relative to urban questions, adopted by the CLRAE
- Resolution 5 (1957) requesting municipal councillors to take part in the plan for visits between local authorities
- Resolution 11 (1958) on the local authorities and the housing problem in Europe
- Resolution 23 (1962) on financial measures to promote local and regional economic and industrial expansion
- Resolution 27 (1962) on the participation of local authorities in the Clean Air Campaign
- Resolution 29 (1962) on inter-municipal exchanges and pairings
- Resolution 30 (1962) on the United Towns Association
- Resolution 42 (1964) on regional planning and the problem of maintaining the balance between town and country
- Resolution 44 (1964) on regional planning and development of ancient buildings and historical or artistic sites
- Resolution 49 (1964) on the settlement of foreign workers in local communities in member countries
- Resolution 56 (1966) on the responsibility of local authorities in the social organisation of leisure
- Resolution 57 (1966) on inter-municipal exchanges
- Resolution 59 (1968) on the costs of urban concentration and the financing of the equipment of large towns and urban areas
- Resolution 61 (1968) on inter-municipal exchanges
- Resolution 62 (1968) on the settlement of migrant workers in foreign local communities
- Resolution 64 (1968) on a Declaration of Principles on local autonomy
- Resolution 65 (1970) on the role of local and regional authorities in the implementation of a policy of preservation and rehabilitation of ancient buildings and historic or artistic sites
- Resolution 69 (1972) on the setting up of a European Interurban Agency for the exchange of experience and information
- Resolution 73 (1972) on the participation by citizens, local authorities and regions in the regional planning of Europe
- Resolution 78 (1974) on action by local authorities to defend and improve man's environment in contemporary society
- Resolution 85 (1976) on the measures to be taken to assist migrant workers concerning housing, schooling of their children and civil and political rights
- Resolution 86 (1976) on the confrontation of local democracy with problems and techniques of modern management
- Resolution 87 (1976) on the establishment of a European local and regional government information unit
- Resolution 88 (1977) on the role and responsibility of local and regional authorities in economic and employment policy
- Resolution 92 (1977) on the measures to be taken to improve the exchange of documentation, information and experience concerning matters affecting local and regional authorities
- Resolution 94 (1977) on housing conditions for migrant workers in Europe
- Resolution 101 (1978) on the participation of the individual in local public life
- Resolution 102 (1978) on powers and responsibilities of local and regional authorities regarding civil protection and mutual aid in the event of disasters occurring in frontier regions
- Resolution 105 (1979) on the apportionment of public resources between the state and local and regional authorities and its evolution
- Resolution 112 (1979) on past record and future prospects of twinnings between local and regional authorities
- Resolution 116 (1980) on the action to be taken by local and regional authorities concerning the protection of the environment in relation to the development of nuclear power
- Resolution 126 (1981) on the principles of local self-government
- Resolution 130 (1982) on land speculation
- Resolution 131 (1982) on the status and training of local and regional government staff
- Resolution 137 (1983) on regional institutions covering urban agglomerations and neighbouring communities
- Resolution 142 (1983) on the status and working conditions local and regional elected representatives
- Resolution 144 (1983) on young people in towns
- Resolution 151 (1984) on the subject : "If the forests die, the towns cannot breathe: local and regional authority action"
- Resolution 153 (1984) on borrowing by local and regional authorities in Europe
- Resolution 163 (1985) on security in European towns
- Resolution 167 (1985) on the European Conference on the Problems of Local and Regional Government Staff
- Resolution 168 (1985) on a declaration of principles concerning the staff of local and regional authorities
- Resolution 170 (1986) on transport planning - How to strike a balance between economics and ecology?
- Resolution 171 (1986) on "Region, environment and participation"
- Resolution 174 (1986) on reorganisation of local government in Europe : modernisation and adaptation
- Resolution 175 (1986) on local finance
- Resolution 179 (1986) on women's participation in local and regional democratic life
- Resolution 180 (1986) on urban violence and insecurity: the role of local policies
- Resolution 186 (1988) on social housing policy
- Resolution 187 (1988) on the European Charter of Self-Government and the European Communities
- Resolution 191 (1988) on urban transport in Europe
- Resolution 194 (1988) on the structures, management and finance of rural authorities
- Resolution 198 (1989) on local finances in Europe and 1993
- Resolution 199 (1989) on free local government: deregulation, efficiency, democracy
- Resolution 205 (1989) on the reduction of urban insecurity in Europe
- Resolution 206 (1989) on health in towns
- Resolution 207 (1989) on air pollution in towns
- Resolution 208 (1989) on self-help and community development in towns
- Resolution 209 (1989) on achieving better living conditions in towns: co-operation between local authorities, the architect and the community
- Opinion n° 6 (1957) on the protection and development of local autonomy
- Opinion n° 9 (1958) on promotion of the European idea through inter-municipal exchanges
- Opinion n° 11 (1958) on the local authorities and the housing problem in Europe
- Opinion n° 12 (1958) on the local authorities and the housing problem in Europe
- Opinion n° 14 (1960) on urban decongestion
- Opinion n° 15 (1962) on Council of Europe action in favour of local autonomy
- D. CLRAE - organised or sponsored international conferences on urban matters
- Conference on "Urban Violence and Insecurity: the Role of Local Policies", Strasbourg, 15-16 September 1986
- Conference on "Local Strategies for the Reduction of Urban Insecurity in Europe", Barcelona, 17-20 November 1987
- Conference on "European and American Urban Environment Improvement: the Role of Public and Private Partnerships", Indianapolis, 27-29 January 1988
- Conference on "Health in towns - New public health strategies for local authorities", Vienna, 24-26 May 1988
- Symposium on "Air Pollution Control in European Cities", Winterthur, 5-7 October 1988
- Conference on "Achieving better living conditions in towns: co-operation between local authorities, the architect and the community", Strasbourg, 18-20 October 1988
- Conference on "Heritage and Successful Town Regeneration", Halifax, 24-27 October 1988
- Conference on "Urban and metropolitan peripheries", Taormina, 2-7 November 1988
- Sixth European Symposium of Historic Towns - "Historic Towns and Tourism", Cambridge, 20-22 September 1989
- Conference on "Managing Urban Development: North/South Solidarity", Lisbon, 18-20 October 1989
- Conference on "European Towns: Strategies and Programmes", Strasbourg, 6-8 June 1990
- Hearing on the incidence of "crack" in North American and European Towns, Strasbourg, 14 November 1990
- Conference on "Local Economic Development in Europe", Blackpool 8-10 May 1991
- 7th European Symposium of Historic Towns - "Achieving a Balance between Historic Preservation and Urban Development", Istanbul, 16-18 September 1992
E. Summary of the principles of the European Urban Charter, as contained in the individual chapters
1. Transport and mobility
It is essential that the volume of travel, particularly by private car, be reduced
Mobility must be organised in a way which is conducive to maintaining a liveable town and permitting co-existence of different forms of travel
The street must be recovered as a social arena
A sustained educational and training effort is required
2. Environment and nature in towns
Public authorities have a responsibility to husband and manage energy resources in a coherent and rational manner
Local authorities should adopt policies to prevent pollution
Local authorities have a responsibility to protect nature and green spaces
Nature conservation is a factor in developing community involvement and pride
3. The physical form of cities
City centres must be safeguarded as important symbols of European cultural and historic heritage
The provision and management of open space in the city are integral parts of urban development
Architectural creation and development play a crucial role in the quality of the urban townscape
All persons are entitled to a healthy, safe, settled, pleasant and stimulating living environment
The vitality of a town depends upon balanced urban residential patterns and the maintenance of the residential character of the city centre
4. The urban architectural heritage
Urban conservation requires a carefully constructed legal framework
Conservation of the urban heritage requires policies for information partnerships
Adequate and often original finance mechanisms and partnerships are necessary
The maintenance and sometimes revival of specialised crafts and techniques are essential
Urban heritage must be integrated into contemporary life via its incorporation as an essential element in overall planning
Economic development can often be stimulated by the heritage
The urban dweller is entitled to privacy in the home
Every person and family is entitled to secure and salubrious housing
Local authorities should ensure diversity, choice and mobility in housing
The right of persons and families in the most disadvantaged categories cannot be safeguarded by market forces alone
Local authorities should ensure that opportunities to purchase housing are available and that security of tenure is achieved
The redevelopment of older housing must not be undertaken at the expense of the existing social fabric
6. Urban security and crime prevention
A coherent security and crime prevention policy must be based on prevention, law enforcement and mutual support
A local urban security policy must be based on up-to-date comprehensive statistics and information
Crime prevention involves all members of the community
An effective urban security policy depends upon close co-operation between the police and the local community
A local anti-drug policy must defined and applied
Programmes for preventing relapse and developing alternatives to incarceration are essential
Support for victims is a key component of any local security policy
Crime prevention must be recognised as a priority and thus command increased financial resources
7. Disadvantaged and disabled persons in towns
Towns must be designed in such a way that all citizens have access to all places
Policies for the disadvantaged and disabled persons should aim to integrate and not over-protect
Co-operation with and between specialised associations, representing disadvantaged or minority groups, is essential
It is important to ensure that houses and workplaces are suitably adapted to the requirements of the disadvantaged and disabled
Travel and communication and public transport must be accessible for all people
8. Sport and Leisure in Urban Areas
All urban dwellers have a right to take part in sporting and recreational facilities
Sports facilities should be safe and well designed
All urban dwellers have a right to be able to develop their expertise in sport up to their individual potential
9. Culture in Towns
All urban dwellers have a right to culture
The cultural development of towns contributes to their economic and social development
Cultural exchange is a powerful bond between peoples of different nationalities, different regions and nations
Cultural development and genuine cultural democracy involves extensive collaboration between local authorities and community groups, the voluntary sector and the private sectors
Cultural pluralism presupposes experiment and encouragement of innovation
The balanced promotion of cultural tourism by local authorities can have a beneficial effect on their community
10. Multicultural Integration in Towns
Non-discrimination is a fundamental aspect of urban policies
Local authorities should ensure effective participation by immigrants in local, political life
Cultural and educational policies in towns should be non-discriminatory
The provision of equal access to employment must be a concern of public authorities
Multicultural integration implies full integration of immigrant communities into the social and physical urban environment
11. Health in towns
The urban environment must be conducive to good health for all citizens
A reliable and durable supply of goods, meeting the fundamental needs of people, is a major factor in ensuring good health
Local authorities must encourage community-based health initiatives and participation
Urban health, a matter of international importance, involves the coordination of municipal action with international programmes
12. Citizen participation, urban management and urban planning
Citizen participation, in local political life must be safeguarded through the right to elect local elected representatives freely and democratically
Citizen participation in local political life must also be effective at all levels of the local, political and administrative structure
Citizens are entitled to be consulted over all major projects affecting the future of the community
Urban management and planning must be based upon maximum information on the characteristics and special features of the town special features, potential, activities, development capacities and resources
Local political decisions should be based on urban and regional planning conducted by teams of professionals
Political choices, the final stage in the decision-making process, should be vital and comprehensible
Local authorities should ensure the participation of young people in local life
13. Economic development in cities
Local authorities should ensure the economic development of their local communities
Economic and social development are inextricably linked
A town is economically and socially part of its surrounding region or hinterland
Economic growth and development depends upon an infrastructure adequate to produce, sustain and increase that growth
Collaboration between the private and public sectors is an important component in urban economic growth and development
1 This Declaration arises from the European Urban Charter, adopted by the Council of Europe's Standing Conference of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE) on 18 March 1992, a Session held during the annual Plenary Session of the CLRAE (17-19 March 1992, Strasbourg).