The UfM Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Development Strategy to be completed before the end of 2012
Barcelona – The objective of this second meeting was to continue the work on the formulation of the UfM Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Development Strategy, by the Senior Official Experts with the support of the Secretariat, as entrusted by the First UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, held in Strasbourg in November 2011.
The Draft Guidance Framework for Sustainable Euro-Mediterranean Cities and Territories was concretized further, after the contributions received from the Senior Official Experts both in writing and at the meeting. Most importantly, it was agreed that the final text of the Guidance Framework would be concluded during the Third Senior Official Experts Meeting to take place in autumn 2012.
Regarding the second element of the Strategy, namely a call to donors to favour the emergence of sustainable urban development projects likely to be labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean, the representative of the French Development Agency (AFD) gave information on the latest developments of the Urban Project Finance Initiative (UPFI). He informed that the pre-identification study would be concluded in October, the mobilization of funding is on track and that the initiative will be operational during the first quarter of 2013 at the latest.
The participants gave green light to the UfMS proposal to give the European Institute of Mediterranean (IEMED) the task of elaborating the third element of the Strategy, namely the 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 the importance of networking, existing systems, structures and institutions, and the principle of voluntary contributions.
Regarding the fourth element, the award for urban innovations to identify and promote best practices, the participants also agreed to work with the IEMed in the elaboration of an action plan for the UfM Award for Urban Innovation.
Following the discussions regarding the Strategy, the EIB Senior Economist Guy Fleuret made a presentation on the Medinas Initiative 2030 program for the renewal of historic city centers, an urban regeneration program led by the EIB which attracted the interest of many participants.
In the afternoon, the UfMS in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, organized a working visit to Barcelona’s 22@ district, an ambitious urban regeneration program which has managed to combine social and environmental sustainability with business led urban development. There, Senior Official Experts and representatives from the different institutions were given a briefing and an on-site tour by two of the architects in charge of the project where they received comprehensive and useful information about this innovative urban regeneration initiative.
Finally, the Secretariat plans to announce the completion of the Strategy, to be submitted to the next Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, before the end of 2012, during the fourth UfM Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Development Strategy Senior Official Experts Meeting.