- The “Shiraka Study Visit on Citizen Engagement in Urban Development” training course inspired participants with innovative projects in good governance, spatial justice, and resilient and inclusive cities from The Netherlands.
The Hague, 8-12 May 2023. The “Shiraka Study Visit on Citizen Engagement in Urban Development”, organized by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the support of the UfM in The Hague on 8-12 May 2023, promoted community and stakeholder engagement and co-creation of shared visions for the region. It strengthened cross-border cooperation and coordination, and exchange of knowledge between local and national planning authorities.
Practical examples from The Netherlands served as inspiration and motivation for new initiatives on citizen engagement in urban development in targeted countries. 17 participants from several UfM members including Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia benefitted from this one-week training course, which was implemented by The Hague Academy for Local Governance.
The training course enabled participants to explore diverse methods of inclusive participatory urban design, apply specific different strategies using placemaking theory in participatory urban planning, explain the importance of gender inclusion in urban planning, understand how data-driven, evidence-based and open data strategies for citizen participation can be used to make cities more feminist and resilient, and to reflect on how participants could apply the learnings from the workshop in their own and other contexts.
The Shiraka Programme is an initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands for the MENA region. It is a Dutch bilateral effort dedicated to contributing to political development in the MENA region, and it will help achieve the objectives established within the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040, more concretely, of Action 3 which the refers to the promotion of “community and stakeholder engagement and co-creation of shared visions for the region”.
The UfM Urban Agenda and the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 provide a roadmap for addressing challenges of urban development around the Mediterranean and proposes evidence-based, integrated and participatory education, focusing on the contextualisation of global policies such as the SDGs and the mutually reinforcing relationship between sustainable, fair, and inclusive urbanization.