European Urban Charter II – The European urban acquis and the prospect of a new urbanity

The first European Urban Charter, adopted by the Congress in 1992, was a groundbreaking initiative in Europe, recognising cities for the first time as “collective players” capable of taking up the challenges facing our societies.

Since then, European cities have been in the front line of globalisation and have become the focus of Europe’s efforts to adjust to the resulting new technological, ecological, economic and social conditions. It was in response to these changes that in 2008 the Congress adopted the European Urban Charter II – Manifesto for a New Urbanity, to guide local authorities in their municipal policies.

The text is a set of principles and concepts for urban planning and management enabling cities to meet the current challenges of their societies. It offers a comprehensive approach and an overall model for a new culture of urban living.

According to this charter, urban planning, development and management should lead to the creation of:

  • cities for citizens, whose interests and needs should be its central priorities;
  • sustainable cities, which respect the local and global environment;
  • cohesive cities, committed to fostering the greatest possible social cohesion within and between themselves;
  • modern cities, which, as centres of science and culture, are engines for knowledge and innovation and provide fertile ground for creative diversity.