Measuring Environmental Degradation
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Measuring Environmental Degradation

Developing Pressure Indicators for Europe

Edited by Anil Markandya and Nick Dale

Measuring Environmental Degradation is a unique book that provides a comprehensive yet concise overview of the key issues of environmental significance addressed as part of the Eurostat ‘Environmental Pressure Indicators Project’. The book is part of the ‘Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU’ (TEPI) series that has resulted from the project.
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Chapter 27: Urban problems in Europe at the start of the twenty-first century

C. Fudge


27. Urban problems in Europe at the start of the twenty-first century1 C. Fudge 1. ANALYSING URBAN PROBLEMS Urban problems can be understood from many different disciplinary perspectives, as part of a historical process or from different geo-political levels of analysis. In attempting to manage the discussion in this chapter, an interdisciplinary approach is attempted which recognizes the importance of history and the ways in which cities everywhere contribute, shape and are shaped by national and global development and change. In terms of geo-political analysis there are perhaps three levels of significance for Europe. First, one could identify and address the problem of the urban system in Europe against the wider urban challenge facing the world through rapid urbanization. This level of analysis raises the question of the role Europe and its cities will play in the world economic, social and environmental order when coping with the potentially enormous problems associated with rapid urbanization, and the development of megacities in developing countries such as parts of Asia. Second, urban problems may be addressed within the boundaries of a broader definition of Europe including the current Member States, other countries in ‘Western Europe’, Central and Eastern Europe, the Newly Independent States, Russia and the countries that border the Mediterranean on its eastern and southern coasts. Third, one could become more insular and analyse the problems in the existing European Union (EU) towns and cities as some studies and policy reports have already done. My own preference is to...

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