On 27 June 2006 the member states confirmed their commitment to a strategy of sustainable urban development. Principal objective of the strategy is to improve quality of life for citizens by creating a healthier urban environment. The Council acknowledges the close links between the wider EU sustainable development strategy and the air pollution strategy. The Council has identified transport as the main threat to sustainable urban development.

The strategy focuses on improving air quality, reducing noise, water supplies, use of renewable energy sources and lower consumption of space and resources.

Embracing the European Commission's January 2006 thematic strategy on the urban environment, the Council supports the notion of integrated environmental management and the development of sustainable transport to respond to the ecological challenges facing towns and cities.

The Council makes a number of recommendations and calls: it urges member states to step up their efforts and enhance policies designed to help cities achieve a high degree of environmental quality; the Council calls on the Commission to bring forward guidelines on the use of EU funds; the Council acknowledges the importance of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research, the Eco-Technologies Action Programme (ETAP), the exchange of good practice, technology and knowledge transfer, data collection and the drafting of urban development indicators.


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