IUME / EEA - Towards an Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe by European Environment Agency

Towards an Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe

It is a working plattform of the initiative IUME - Towards an Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe. The initiative is based on the voluntary contribution and informal co-operation between different European partners all concerned about urbanisation in Europe and its impacts . The main purpose of this platform is to exchange information among the partners and further develop the concept. However, information provided might also be of interest for further stakeholders concerned about urban development in Europe.

Why do urban areas matter in Europe?

Urban areas are gaining more and more attention at European level. The majority of Europeans live there; as the motor of job creation and growth, cities play an important role in implementing the Lisbon Strategy and territorial cohesion; also, the EU Territorial Agenda and Leipzig Charter highlight the important link to urban development. To cope with the social, economic, environmental and territorial perspectives of urban development, its multiple, dynamic interlinkages, and the European dimension of the development, policy-makers need an appropriate information base and management tools.

Why this initiative?

A number of different European urban monitoring initiatives are ongoing. However, none of these offer the fully integrated approach that is sought, but many offer some elements. Coordinating and integrating these initiatives offers the opportunity to fill the gaps, improve the efficiency of work, and to provide in particular the needed integrated information base and monitoring of progress.

IUME approach

To face these challenges and create the Integrated Urban Monitoring in Europe (IUME) we identified three key elements that define the different lines of work and will provide recommendations for the development of the concept and integration of work:

- Data is crucial to provide evidence and to quantify the urban development analysed at the appropriate scale. We try to identify the available data, data gaps, the links between different data sets and the appropriate tools to use them.

- Questions regarding the urban development and its likely impacts are posed by policy makers and practitioners. Building the IUME concept, we try to considering answering their questions.

- Understanding the urban system is crucial to reflect the interlinkages between the different drivers of urbanisation, arising pressures and impacts, and to identify appropriate response measures. It assists to develop the theoretical framework of the monitoring concept to link data and find answers to the complex policy questions.

How does IUME organise work?

The work is based on the partners’ awareness of the needs and challenges ahead and a shared concern to improve the situation. The different European partners working to  monitor and assess urban development in Europe collaborate by organising regular workshops that provide the right environment to share information about current developments, identify gaps, and agree on further individual and joint steps on a voluntary basis.

Data: European datasts at urban level

Reports: European reports at urban level

A pragmatic approach to describe the urban metabolism



European Environment Agency (initator)

European Environment Agency 's European Topic centre for Land Use and Spatial Information (Currently, UMA host it)

DG Environment

DG Regional Policy

DG Mobility and Transport

DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

DG Joint Research Centre (JRC in Ispra)



ESPON Programme (Inspire policy making by territorial evidence)

Ambiente Italia

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency




CEMR (The Council of European Municipalities and Regions)

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Danube delta National Institute



Copernicus (European Earth Observation Programme)

UN Habitat



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