EUROPEAN CITY OF THE FUTURE More than two thirds of the European population lives in urban areas. Cities are places whereboth problems emerge and solutions are found. They are fertile ground for science andtechnology, for culture and innovation, for individual and collective creativity, and formitigating the impact of climate change. However, cities are also places where problems suchas unemployment, segregation and poverty are concentrated. We need to better understandthe challenges that different European cities will face in the years ahead. This is why I decidedto bring together a number of urban experts and representatives of European cities to thinkabout the future. This report is the outcome of that reflection. It raises awareness of thepossible future impacts of a range of trends, such as demographic decline and socialpolarisation, and the vulnerability of different types of cities. It also highlights opportunitiesand the key role cities can play in achieving EU objectives – especially in the implementationof the Europe 2020 strategy. It presents some inspirational models and visions. It alsoconfirms the importance of an integrated approach to urban development. The ‘Cities oftomorrow’ reflection process will provide inspiration for policy-makers and practitionersinvolved in urban development, whether at local, regional, national or European level.Looking ahead and developing visions of the cities of tomorrow is becoming increasinglyimportant at all levels. The development of our cities will determine the future of Europe
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE Slovakia’s capital city Bratislava has always beenslightly distinct from the rest of the country. This isprobably also due in part to its asymmetric position inthe south-west corner of the country. It is thereforeonly natural that following 1989, and with the entryof Slovakia to the European Union, Bratislava is now acity with the best prospects to fast become a modernEuropean metropolis with a high quality of life.
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE Today Bratislava has a stable place on the map of global realestate players. While just a few years ago the mention of itwould just raise the scrutinising eyebrow of experts, nowadaysBratislava is one of the most sought after investment localitiesin Europe. Commercial properties in the city on the Danubeare now owned by big names like Heitman, RodamcoEurope, Hannover Leasing or Axa. In Bratislava, one can findworld renowned developers like Ballymore Properties or ORCOwhich are accompanied also by strong Slovak players.Prestigious consulting companies also have branches here, likeCB Richard Ellis, Colliers International and King Sturge.
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE Special importance in the urban concept of Bratislava isassociated with the embankments on both sides of theRiver Danube, the historical city centre, together withother protected heritage sites. A specific position is heldby the dockland area. The hub of the new plans is thearea on the south bank of the Danube between The OldBridge and The Harbour Bridge. Bratislava will alsodevelop outwards to the southwest in the direction of theAustrian border, this having been prevented until 1989 bythe iron curtain of the totalitarian regime.
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE The city centre also expects to transform, as it becomesbroader, more attractive and livelier. Probably mostimportantly, former factory sites will vanish from thecentre, being replaced by modern architecture andadopting a multipurpose role. Emphasis will be put on theconstruction of mixed-use buildings with qualityhousing, premium office space, shops and leisure areaswith parks, playgrounds and sports facilities. The citycentre will start to spread out toward the river; severalkilometres of modern attractive boulevard will run alongboth banks of the river Danube.
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE The areas around the central bus and train stations will betransformed. By 2010 the north and south of the city on either bankof the River Danube will be linked up by a modern high-speedtramway. In the coming years the city plans to invest millions andmillions of euro, primarily into the revitalisation of transportinfrastructure.The economic reforms of the Slovak government from the 2002-2006 period led to impressive economic growth, which last yearcame to over 8% on average. The construction sector reflects theexcellent condition of the Slovak economy, and so the whole countryis experiencing a further construction boom. The heart ofconstruction work and real estate development is the capitalBratislava, which is undergoing unparalleled development.
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE What is among the city advantages? Above all, it is availablespace. Bratislava is probably the last major European citywhere there is still an abundance of potential constructionsites available. Fantastic locations that until recently were notutilised, are about to transform into new city quarters, givingthe Slovak capital a new look. The new Land Use Plan of thecity, which has been approved last May, identifies a total of4,000 hectares of additional development land earmarked forthe construction of flats, shops, offices and relatedinfrastructure. This is the key competitive advantage ofBratislava in enticing foreign investors here, which only a fewother European cities can offer.
BRATISLAVA – THE EUROPEANCITY OF THE FUTURE Bratislava has every chance of developing intoa dynamic economic region in the heart ofEurope. The excellent geographic locationcombined with its positive demographicvitality make the Slovak capital a unique placefor the development of economic activity ofevery kind. Bratislava is the “European City ofthe Future”.