Urban development

Three-quarters of the country's population live in cities and towns. These areas are crucial to economic development and prosperity, and account for a substantial proportion of the nation's total consumption of land, power and other resources.

Developing efficient planning tools and working out solutions to planning problems require close cooperation among various local and regional authorities, ministries, directorates and other public bodies. One aim of this work is to expose the need for changes to national framework conditions, legislation, etc.

Collaborative work is in progress on comprehensive models for sustainable urban development ("environmental city" projects) and on development issues affecting urban land use, city and town centres, built-up areas in the countryside, and coordinated area and transport planning at county level, particularly concerning the siting of large shopping centres. Through a "collaborative forum for urban development", an arena has been established in which the larger cities and the various ministries can discuss relevant issues.