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ESDN Quarterly Reports

The ESDN Quarterly Reports provide in-depth documentation of a selected topic on a quarterly basis. The current ESDN Quarterly Report is displayed below. For previous ESDN Quarterly Reports click here.

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ESDN Quarterly Report January 2014

Framing Urban Sustainable Development:

Features, Challenges and Potentials of urban SD from a multi-level governance perspective

by Umberto Pisano, Katrin Lepuschitz & Gerald Berger

This ESDN Quarterly Report (QR) provides an overview of the concept of urban sustainable development (SD) as well as initiatives and programmes of urban SD on the global and European level.

In the first chapter, we approach urban SD from a conceptual point of view and portray the reasoning and the trigger behind this ESDN Quarterly Report. Therefore, we look at terms and concepts, and define the basic understanding of urban SD. We then describe the main features, challenges and potentials that make it easier to narrow down the concept of urban SD. Furthermore, we present a reflection on the necessity of multi-level governance approaches to manage the development and transformation of cities and urban areas towards a more sustainable future.

In the second chapter, we guide the reader through several policy initiatives and programmes as well as the main actors that define the arena of urban SD on the global and European level. Therefore, we provide an overview of international and European policy efforts on urban SD and the work of various city networks on this topic. We also review and present several concrete initiatives and institutions engaged in urban sustainability on a global and European level. Finally, we present several city networks, differentiating again between city networks acting on a global and on a European scale.

In the closing third chapter, we briefly reflect on the main points touched in the first two chapters and offer several points for discussion, especially for a further elaboration on the topic of urban SD.

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