The UfM Platforms gather governmental institutions, international orgs, civil society and private sector experts to exchange on the ministerial mandates, better understand the needs, share experiences, identify best practices and promote concrete projects of cooperation.
UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development
Context and Objectives
Sustainable urbanization is key to addressing climate change, while it is also a potential driver for sustainable development. The UfM follows a cooperative approach in implementing the UfM Urban Agenda, which provides a holistic, integrated, place-based and long-term approach to sustainable urban development, in order to achieve well-managed, economically prosperous, gender and socially inclusive, just, safe, healthy, accessible and resilient, as well as resource-efficient and low-carbon environmentally sustainable cities.
The UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 including its Housing Action Plan has been elaborated and deployed as a key tool to implement the UfM Urban Agenda.
In the Mediterranean region, human-induced pressures are on the rise and are mostly felt in coastal areas. Its basin is one of the most prominent hotspots of climate and environmental change in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure on health, social security, sanitation systems and the economic livelihood of millions. These realities have further highlighted the need for sustainable urbanisation in the region as a driver for sustainable development.
In this field, the aim of the UfM in general, and of the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and its Working Groups in particular, is to implement the UfM Ministerial mandate through a multi-stakeholder framework for dialogue and technical cooperation, thus contributing to the advancement of the global agenda, including the achievement of the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and related SDGs 3, 13, 15, 16, 17).
 UfM Working Group on Affordable and Sustainable Housing, UfM Working Group on Urban Transformation, and the UfM Permanent Working Group on Evaluation, Monitoring and Reporting Systems on Sustainable Urban Development
To this end, the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 including its Housing Action Plan has been elaborated and deployed as a key tool to implement the UfM Urban Agenda, within human-centric and holistic approaches for cities of all sizes thus offering a strong operational framework for activating the necessary urban transitions in the region.
Through the implementation of the Action Plan, the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and its Working Groups aim to:
- Foster and reinforce multi-level and multi-stakeholder partnerships;
- Exchange knowledge, experience, best practice and innovative approaches between Member States, local authorities, and other relevant stakeholders;
- Identify gaps in policy, implementation and financing;
- Identify new projects that could be replicated in the region;
- Create action plans on specific thematic priorities for working groups;
- Prepare a UfM report on contribution to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
Back-to-back with the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and its Working Groups, the UfM Secretariat organises:
- The UfM-IFIs Urban Project Committee, which is aimed at exchanging views with the IFIs and key partners of the UfM region on the funding of the labelled and potential projects for future labelling in the field of urban development, particularly by exploring innovative coordinated financing approaches and mechanisms, as well as cooperative multi-donor strategies and partnerships at regional level.
- Ad-hoc SOMs to prepare, discuss, and provisionally approve the draft Ministerial Declaration and other deliverables, before conveying them to UfM Senior Officials (regular SOM) for adoption, prior to the next UfM Ministerial Conference.
The First UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Strasbourg, November 2011), established cooperation on sustainable urban development as a means of developing a genuine urban dimension within the UfM, taking into account the interplay between urban and territorial development, climate change and the environment in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The Second UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Cairo, May 2017), established the UfM Urban Agenda, providing a strategic, long-term, and shared vision, and aiming to support the creation of more resilient and inclusive cities in the Mediterranean region, with a focus on reducing inequalities and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
UfM Ministers in Cairo also mandated the UfM Secretariat to create and coordinate the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and its Working Groups focusing on thematic priorities and bringing together UfM government representatives, key regional and international partner organisations and international financial institutions, as well as the key experts and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
The Third UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Zagreb, May 2023) mandated the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development to focus on the effective implementation and monitoring of the UfM Urban Agenda, through the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040.
Global and Regional Policy Frameworks
Several key global and regional reference policy frameworks were taken into account when drafting the Action Plans. These include, among others, the 2030 Agenda, the New Urban Agenda, the Urban Agenda for the EU, the New Leipzig Charter, the European Green Deal, the New European Bauhaus and also the Agenda 2063, in view of lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- First UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Strasbourg, November 2011)
- Second UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development & adoption of the UfM Urban Agenda (Cairo, May 2017)
- Launch of the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and its Working Groups on Affordable and Sustainable Housing, on Urban Transformation, and the UfM Permanent Working Group on Evaluation, Monitoring and Reporting Systems on Sustainable Urban Development (Brussels, November 2017)
- Multi-stakeholder consultative process for the Action Plan (2019-2020)
- Second UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development meeting (online, December 2020)
- Third UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development and Working Group meetings (online, 17 February 2022)
- Third UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development (Zagreb, 4 May 2023)
Key partners and stakeholders
- European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO)
- European Commission Directorate-General for Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
- Minister of Public Works and Housing, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Other key partners and stakeholders: