Urban issues are dealt with under the Objective 1, 2 and 3 programmes of the Structural Funds. Target regions and groups as well as areas of assistance vary among the programmes and the programming periods. In many cases, urban areas and urban policy have been tackled mainly within Objective 2 programmes in the context of restructuring the industrial base and providing improved services, such as urban transport systems, as far as they contribute to urban rehabilitation and development.
At European level the urban question is addressed as a priority with an important territorial dimension with cities as drivers of development. The inclusion of a territorial approach in the interventions under the Structural Funds, notably concerning basic principles of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP), varies in ways and extent. However, often a â€œclassicalâ€ urban policy approach is guiding the activities leaving more economic considerations as well as potentials for adding to development from considering the city as part of a larger territorial context opening for options for synergy through cooperation.