4th Conference of the Council of Europe of Ministers Responsible for Spatial Planning (CEMAT)
Planning of rural areas in Europe
Vienna, Austria, 5-7 October 1978
Meeting in Vienna, the ministers responsible for regional/spatial planning reaffirmed:
- that their general aim was to examine current political issues in greater depth, in the context of an ongoing exchange of experience and information about regional/spatial planning policies;
- their wish to strive together for a harmonious spatial distribution of human activities and for a balanced development of regions.
They therefore outlined a European concept of regional/spatial planning in the broadest possible geographical framework.
On a more practical level, following on from the work done on urban issues at the Bari Conference, the Vienna Conference also looked at the question of rural areas. It identified three main objectives of rural planning:
- making living conditions in different regions as equal as possible in terms of employment, income, housing, social services, etc;
- good management of agriculture and natural resources;
- the taking into account of the requirements of ecological balance and the problems of long-term resources.
The achievement of these objectives was considered to require:
- co-ordinated measures at regional and local level, taken with the active participation of the population and allowing for different levels of intervention;
- national planning setting out a framework for the use of natural resources of national interest, and a general plan for the development and functioning of the various centres;
- regional/spatial planning at the European level, so that an appropriate framework for concerted national and regional policies could be devised.
Finally, the Conference decided to prepare a European Regional/Spatial Planning Charter.