Barcelona, 28th March 2012 – The UfM Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Development Strategy First Senior Official Experts Meeting was held in Barcelona on the 28th March 2012 with the participation of Senior Official Experts (SOEs) from 14 UfM member countries as well as 14 institutions such as the Arab League of States, the Arab Towns Organisation, the International Urban Development Association (INTA), MedCities and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The meeting was organised by the Secretariat of the UfM (UfMS) with the aim to follow-up from the First Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Strasbourg, 9th – 10th November 2011), which entrusted the Senior Official Experts to formulate the Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Strategy with the support of the Secretariat.
The meeting outlined the next steps to be taken towards the realization of the Strategy, composed of the following four elements:
– A Guidance framework for sustainable Euro-Mediterranean cities and territories.
– A call to donors to favour the emergence of sustainable urban development projects likely to be labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.
– A preliminary study to determine if the creation of a coherent mechanism, such as an Urban Agency for the Mediterranean, is needed to support sustainable urban development in the Mediterranean, taking into consideration importance of networking, existing systems, structures and institutions, and the principle of voluntary contributions.
– An award for urban innovations to identify and promote best practices.
The SOEs expressed their satisfaction with the draft “Guidance Framework for Sustainable Cities and Territories” and agreed to enrich the document with their contributions before the next meeting, which is scheduled to take place in Barcelona on May 25th, 2012.
It was also agreed that the Secretariat prepares the ground work for the launch of the feasibility study for a possible Urban Agency and a road map for the Urban Innovations Award to be discussed during the future meetings.
The Urban Project Finance Initiative, an operational financial tool for the urban projects prepared by the EIB, AFD and the Secretariat was presented to the SOEs during the meeting.