Towards inclusive and resilient urban development in the Mediterranean region: implementing the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 in 2022
17 February 2022 – The UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development convened its third meeting on 17 February 2022 in online format. The meeting contributed to the implementation of the UfM Urban Agenda and resumed the process of laying the groundwork at technical level for the next UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development.
The UfM Regional Platform, which was co-chaired by the UfM Co-Presidency, represented by Wallis Goelen, European Commission’s DG REGIO and by Jomana Attyat, Director General of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation in Jordan, was hosted by Erdal Sabri Ergen, UfM Deputy Secretary General for Transport and Urban Development, and brought together national coordinators and focal points for urban development from technical line ministries of UfM Member States, as well as participants from key regional and international partner organisations, universities, international financial institutions and donors, among others.
The meeting provided UfM Member States’ representatives and stakeholders with an overview of the UfM initially planned activities on sustainable urban development for 2022, as part of the implementation of the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 and the UfM Housing Action Plan. It informed participants about the main objectives of each one of the activities, and the expected involvement from Member States in each activity.
The UfM Regional Platform also saw the recommendation by consensus to rename the “UfM Working Group on Urban Regeneration” as “UfM Working Group on Urban Transformation”, with a view to encompassing a wider range of activities related to urban development in the near future.
Deliberations of the UfM Working Group on Urban Transformation, the UfM Working Group on Affordable and Sustainable Housing, the UfM Working Group on Evaluation, Monitoring, and Reporting Systems on Sustainable Urban Development and the UfM-IFIs Urban Project Committee resumed on this occasion.
During his opening remarks, UfM Deputy Secretary-General Amb. Ergen welcomed UfM Member States’ active involvement and participation in the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development. Regarding the work plan for 2022, he stated: “The upcoming meetings in 2022 will build on what has been achieved so far, and aim to take these issues further”. He added that the UfM gives “utmost importance to ownership of these events by the stakeholders which bring their experience and added value”.
The UfM Urban Agenda aims to support the creation of more resilient and inclusive cities in the Mediterranean region, with a focus on reducing inequalities and contributing to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040, adopted by UfM Senior Officials in July 2021, establishes a common vision to tackling urban challenges in the region. It is the result of a three-year collaboration between the European Commission and all 42 UfM Member States, aiming to improve the quality of life for all citizens by building better, more inclusive, climate-resilient communities. The Plan promotes science-led, evidence-based, inclusive and integrated planning, investment and implementation of urban projects, with coordination at the local, national and regional governance levels. It involves cooperation between national and local authorities, intergovernmental organisations, international financial institutions, and other stakeholders.