Planning urban development and applying policies which fall into line with the principals of sustainability, constitutes the main goal of the modern cities. The current study aims at analysing the policies and the tactics of two European medium sized city regions to apply a sustainable sound pattern of development. Both cities are located in industrialised areas: Bochum in the Valley of Ruhr in Germany and Modena in the region of Emilia-Romagna. Similarities can be detected such as the environmental threats and the common cultural and political context. The paper compares these cases and provides contrasts and similarities stemming from the two different developmental patterns. Both the analysis of each case individually and the comparison of the two cases demonstrate that only partial adherence to the environmental sustainability management model is to be observed. In addition, it seems that conditions favourable to innovative and cohesive socio-economic contexts do not explicitly imply environmental sustainable development.
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