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European programmes as a driving force for the transformation of cities. Study on their application in the Region of Murcia (Spain)
1  Facultad Economía y Empresa. Universidad de Murcia
Academic Editor: Salvador Garcia-Ayllon



In the last thirty years, cities have become the main centres of population. Recent research estimates that the concentration of population in cities accounts for 70% of the total European population, reaching 80% in some countries, including Spain. However, this increase in population density has led to associated environmental degradation.

It is clear that the most densely populated cities are the ones that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions, from vehicle traffic, urban waste generated and the consumption of polluting energy, which causes serious damage to the environment. This situation does not only affect large cities, but also smaller urban centres that have seen their population increase without time to adapt to these changes. Faced with this problem, over the last thirty years, European institutions have implemented actions and strategies to address this problem by favouring the transformation of cities into sustainable urban environments, balancing economic growth, population growth and the needs of the urban population, infrastructures and services with existing natural resources.

The Region of Murcia, in Spain, has special characteristics in terms of climatology and orography that are generating increasingly extreme climates, causing serious deterioration for the territory and for the population. In this Region, therefore, it is vital to adopt actions to mitigate the consequences of climate change in its urban environments.

The aim of this paper is to analyse the European and national initiatives on sustainable development of cities that are being carried out in the Region of Murcia, Spain.

Throughout this work, a review will be made of the different European programmes that support with funding projects for the transformation and regeneration of these urban environments, mainly considering aspects such as sustainability and adaptation to climate change in order to achieve greater resilience.

Our research will address the different European projects and strategies that will allow us to see the progress of these policies towards sustainable cities: Urban Agenda projects, Urbact, DUSI Strategies and LIFE projects that are currently being implemented in different cities in the Region of Murcia, analysing their degree of progress and consolidation.

Keywords: Sustainable development, Cities, European Union funding.