Declaration of Bruges, 6 April 2003

Street in Bruges
Street in Bruges. ©Ben Bolgar

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The Council for European Urbanism is dedicated to the well being of the people of Europe by the recreation of humane cities, towns and countryside.

European Cities, Towns and Countryside are under threat from:

  •  Waste of land and cultural resources.
  • Social segregation and isolation.
  • Monofunctional development.
  • Loss of local, regional and national cohesion, character
    and distinctiveness.

Twelve Challenges for European Urbanism:

  1. Poorly integrated housing: slab and tower blocks and low-density sprawl.
  2. Unintegrated public and commercial functions: business parks and out-of-town shopping and entertainment centres.
  3. Disposable buildings and short life-cycle developments.
  4. Degradation of public places.
  5. Public realm made from left-over space.
  6. Car-dominated transport.
  7. Indiscriminate road and street design.
  8. Disconnected street networks.
  9. Autocratic planning methods and over-regulation.
  10. Destruction of villages through decay, abandonment or suburbanisation.
  11. Disruptive infill and dysfunctional zoning in urban areas.
  12. Non-contextual guidelines and regulations in historic areas.

The Coucil for European Urbanism will respond to these 12 challenges, and create an appropriate programme, organisation and strategy. National Chapters will be created. A complete Charter will be finished and presented in Stockholm in November 2003.

Bruges Belfrey
Belfrey in Bruges. ©Ben Bolgar