Urban Development and the Environmental Challenges—“Green” Systems Considerations for the EU

  • Uno SvedinEmail author
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


The increased expansion of urban oriented challenges calls for the need to develop related policies in a sustainable development fashion. This means to be alert to the grand challenges to connect environmental/ecological—social—cultural—economic and technical factors. These challenges exist in all parts of the globalized world, not least in the EU domain. But the different parts of the world will have to find their specific ways to create solutions to these problems. Thus the need for a “green” development profile calls for integrated policy making and new ways to reflect on the urban-rural interface which is specific to the environmental, historical, social and technical specificities of the area in focus—e.g. the EU. Related management schemes will have to consider all sorts of environmentally oriented concerns, not least those connected to climate change. In the urban context such considerations have to be long term, systems oriented and resilience reflexive. The forms of decision making, the governance structure and the support measures for such activities have to be given careful attention. This should be done in a spirit of finding a wide range of innovative approaches including not only technical ones, but also those with a social and cultural orientation. In the not too long run such societal transformation strategies will be necessary in the new historical period of the Anthropocene.


Anthropocene Climate change Decision making Environment EU-policy European perspective Futures studies Governance Grand challenges Green issues Indicators Paths Resilience Scenarios Socio-cultural Solutions Strategies Sustainability Systems Tele connections Transformations Urban Urban-rural links 



This text is based on—and further elaborated upon—a presentation material prepared by and used by the author at the DG Regio “Cities” Conference, 28–29 June 2010, Brussels. Here is acknowledged the support by the EU/DG Regio as well as an acknowledgement of the value of the conference and all its preparatory activities. I also acknowledge interesting discussions in the ongoing EU project COMPLEX (2012–2016), dealing with the societal transition towards a low carbon society by 2050 in Europe. Special thanks to the Swedish work package 4 part.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer and Systems Sciences (DSV)Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC)Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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