Costa & Hoyer: Why Invest in Urban Landscapes? Impacts of European Research on Paradigm Shift in Urban Planning


In recent years, the European Union encouraged plenty of research on the development of innovative solutions, strategies, and networks to develop sustainable cities. In this paper, we present and discuss the outcomes and perspectives of four European projects (URGE, GreenKeys, SWITCH, and CyberParks) and their contributions to bridge the gap between knowledge, policymaking, and citizens. While URGE, GreenKeys, and SWITCH are already completed, CyberParks is in its initial steps. The projects URGE and GreenKeys focus on green landscapes. In URGE, a set of criteria was created to assess urban green spaces, and thus increase their potential for improving the quality of life in cities. GreenKeys addressed the creation and adoption of green space strategies as a shared vision towards more inclusive urban spaces. SWITCH focused on blue landscapes, it aimed to advance and adopt integrated urban water management by connecting urban water and urban green issues. Finally, CyberParks is focusing on urban landscapes in a digital era. It aims to foster greater knowledge about the relationship between new information, communication technologies, and public spaces. Having projects with different time lag allows us to better understand the impacts on urban planning practices resulting from these projects, and show the needs for ongoing research agendas.


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