Urbanisation and regional planning

Bari, Italy, 21-23 October 1976

The ministers of the Council of Europe member states responsible for regional planning, joined by some observers from non-member states and from other intergovernmental organisations, held their 3rd Conference in Bari.

Turning their attention to the problems associated with the management of urbanisation in the regional planning context, the ministers took the view that it would be appropriate to:

  • endeavour to solve urban growth problems in the context of a comprehensive regional planning policy;
  • define with clarity the overall objectives of regional planning and urban development;
  • promote a balanced urban structure at national, regional and local levels;
  • give public authorities the resources they need to manage the development of towns and their surrounding areas;
  • improve co-operation and co-ordination among public authorities;
  • ensure that master plans for transport and regional development are more closely interlinked;
  • adopt positive measures to avoid space being used unnecessarily;
  • ask local and regional authorities to take the requisite measures to protect the environment;
  • place greater emphasis than in the past on better use of existing building land.

In view of the importance of urban renewal in the context of urban development, the conference defined a comprehensive urban renewal policy and recommended that a European campaign on urban renewal be organised.

A second resolution emphasising the need to involve the population more in the preparation and implementation of urban and regional planning policies said that it was vital to:

  • publish plans and decisions, so that the population would become aware of them and then would discuss and evaluate them;
  • improve the methods and techniques used to inform and consult the groups concerned;
  • understand better, encourage and accept citizens’ views on planning matters.

Where issues relating to mountain regions arose, the ministers identified how the regional planning of the areas concerned should be designed. They noted that it was necessary to continue to study these problems with a view to defining European solutions, and inter alia to examine the means of giving mountain regions and their populations equal opportunities for economic development and for quality of life improvements. They expressed a wish for proposals to be put to them in this respect.

The Bari Conference was an appropriate European follow-up to the 1976 Vancouver Conference (organised by the UN) on human settlements. It afforded an opportunity to look at the real possibilities for future co-operation in Europe on the basis of the principles set down at the 1975 Helsinki Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe.


 Adopted Resolutions