Sustainable Urban and Rural Fringes


he Sustainable Urban Fringes (SURF) project brought together partners and experts from across the North Sea Region to exchange information and develop a common approach towards the sustainability of urban fringe areas.

The project has recognised the value these areas between urban and rural landscape can bring to local communities, creating places where people want to live, work and do business. This can be through strengthening local economies; delivering social benefits and by creating a space for nature.

Key initiatives examined by the project have included a review of urban fringe policies and the development of a set of  Policy guidelines to tackle issues of governance and spatial planning.

The project aims to address the challenges facing our urban fringes including -

  • spatial planning and sustainable development
  • complex issues of ownership and administration
  • fragmented spaces
  • declining biodiversity
  • deteriorating water quality
  • low green space value
  • poor access and lack of engagement with local communities
  • changing demographics and their impact on the urban fringe
  • inconsistent planning policy

To informing the research, Project Partners developed their own urban fringe initiatives to establish best practice and share their experiences.


  • Status
  • Completed
  • Project Launch
  • 01 September 2009
  • Project completed
  • 31 August 2012
peri-urban regeneration regional development