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Urban development is development of cities and other urban areas as drivers of economic and social development. Concentration of activities and people brings with it environmental and social challenges which can only be tackled through more sustainable and effective ways of living and working. Smart cities are the cities of the future. They will provide a healthy living environment, various services, affordable housing and efficient mobility and enable green activities that respond to society’s new needs.

As many as 90% of all persons employed in Slovenia work in towns and other urban areas. Due to the high concentration of people and activities, these areas also offer opportunities for the development of the most sustainable forms of living. With sound management focused on sustainable forms of planning and smart green solutions, towns and other urban areas are the perfect place for quality living, business operations and new investments.

Natural resource conservation and inner urban development

The natural environment in towns and other urban areas is under a lot of pressure, as towns are a major consumer of resources and energy. Urban development is therefore one of key areas where sustainable development measures are carried out. Particular attention is paid to maintaining the quality of natural resources, especially waters, air and soil, including through circular economy solutions.

Slovenia promotes compact and functional towns and encourages them to make better use of their inner areas for development and thus prevent the loss of agricultural and other green areas on the outskirts.

Therefore EUR 117 million of the 2014–2020 financial framework was allocated to integrated urban renewal in urban municipalities, which will help to use space more efficiently and raise the quality of the living environment in towns and improve their competitiveness.

Buildings and transport contribute the most to the high carbon footprint of towns (each around 40%). In the construction of buildings, Slovenia therefore promotes sustainable and energy-efficient approaches, and it strives to improve transport efficiency in towns and connections with the hinterland and between larger towns and cities through sustainable mobility measures.

Quality of life in towns

In addition to our efforts for sustainable development and adapting to climate change, we must also ensure that our towns offer a quality urban environment that provides good quality of life, work and leisure activities. To this end, good access to services and decent housing is required, as is a wide range of social activities. All this can be made possible through quality urban planning offering a sufficient amount of public open and green spaces and by using innovative approaches and technologies.

Modern urban management

Sound management is important for coordination of the various activities that take place and connect in towns. The key is a comprehensive approach that takes into account the economic, environmental, social, and functional and technological aspects of the functioning of towns and is based on cooperation among various fields, users and residents.