The World Urban Forum in Malaysia held this February provided the background for the European Commission to review the existing situation on the achievements of the Commission’s commitments to reach global targets in sustainable urban development. Presented in 2016, the Commission’s three commitments focused on the following points:

  1. Deliver an Urban Agenda for the EU
  2. Develop a global definition of cities
  3. Foster cooperation between cities

The overall aim is to control the effects of rapid urbanisation and provide cities and urban stakeholders with an efficient set of guidelines, policies, good practices and projects to be replicated across the EU and in the world. So far, 3 action plans out of 12 have been drawn up under the Urban Agenda for the EU on urban poverty, integration of migrants and air quality.

To achieve these goals across Member States, a common definition of “City” is needed, in order to facilitate monitoring, benchmarking and eventually policy-making. The EU has been working on such a definition, which will be presented to the UN in March 2019, in partnership with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank.

So far, the Commission has gathered estimates of the level of urbanisation of each country in the world and provided free access to this data to facilitate the comparison with national definitions. At the occasion of the World Urban Forum, the Commission is publishing the global city centres database; it contains data for all 10,000 urban centres scattered across the globe.

More information can be found here.

Source: European Commission