- The Mediterranean region is particularly vulnerable to climate change, as the Mediterranean basin has one of the fastest urbanisation rates in the world. Cities are a key cause of climate change, but they can also be key to solving it.
- The 3rd Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development provided a key mandate to enhance cooperation through the new UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040.
Zagreb (Croatia), 4 May 2023. At the 3rd Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, held today in Zagreb, Ministers affirmed their strong commitment to boost sustainable, resilient, safe, and integrated urban development. They also highlighted the importance of the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040, as a key implementation tool for the UfM Urban Agenda, and as part of their commitment to achieving the SDGs, particularly through the UN New Urban Agenda.
The Mediterranean region is warming 20% faster than the global average, and is therefore particularly vulnerable to climate change. The Mediterranean basin also has one of the fastest urbanisation rates in the world.
Ministers mandated the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development to focus in the years ahead, on the implementation and monitoring of the UfM Urban Agenda, through the UfM Strategic Urban Development Action Plan 2040 and its Housing Action Plan. To this end, and given the complex and interconnected crises and global challenges, including climate change, the UfM will move forward to:
- Identify strategies to improve urban health by promoting better planning, providing local communities with social spaces and services, climate action, ensuring the sustainability of natural resources, and nature-based solutions.
- Encourage joint work in sustainable port city transformation and port-city cooperation.
- Address the promotion of public policies and programmes to tackle affordable housing including the set-up of Housing National Housing Agencies and Housing Observatories.
- Promote the valuation and dissemination of vernacular architecture and traditional building skills, methodologies and materials as a means to increase cultural embeddedness and climate adaption solutions.
- Increase the safety of the citizens and the resilience of cities in the face of natural and man-made disasters.
- Launch a process that could conclude with a comparative analysis/repository of coastal land planning governance models and instruments across the region and a set of recommendations.
- Continue to promote projects that could be showcased as best practices under the UfM Strategic Urban Action Plan.
A progress report will be submitted before the end of the Decade of Action in 2030.
The Ministerial Conference was co-chaired by the UfM Co-Presidency of the EU, represented by the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, and of Jordan, represented by its Minister of Public Works and Housing Maher Hamdi Abuelsamen, in the presence of UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel. It was hosted by Croatia, represented by its Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Assets Branko Bačić.
The European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, stated: “The European Union is fully committed to support the members of the UfM to deliver on the Strategic Action Plan on Sustainable Urban Development 2040, which sets our joint vision for more resilient and inclusive cities. With today’s Ministerial Declaration, we are setting ourselves a clear path for further cooperation in partnership to make a success of the green and digital transformation of our cities and provide quality of life, decent jobs, healthy environment and affordable housing in the coming years, while ensuring ownership on the ground and mobilization of all the local partners, including civil society and citizens”
The Minister of Public Works and Housing of Jordan, Maher Hamdi Abuelsamen, declared: “Addressing the promotion of public policies and programmes to tackle affordable housing, including the set-up of National Housing Agencies and Housing Observatories, is key to come up with accurate insights in critical issues related to the housing phenomenon, thus improving legislations and offering meaningful dashboards for devising effective housing policies.”
The UfM Secretary General, Nasser Kamel, emphasized: “Sustainable urban development is crucial to the future of the region. It will enable cities to fight climate change, attract new investment and create new economic opportunities, particularly in the areas of renewable energy, green infrastructure, and sustainable tourism. To this end, countries have agreed today to intensify efforts to implement the new UfM Strategic Action Plan on Sustainable Urban Development 2040, as a key implementation tool for the UfM Urban Agenda.”
- 3rd UfM Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Urban Development (EN, FR, AR)
- UfM Strategic Urban Action Plan 2040 (EN, FR, AR)
- UfM Strategic Urban Action Plan 2040 – Executive Summary (EN, FR, AR)
- Axis of Intervention 1 – UfM Housing Action Plan (EN, FR, AR)
- Axis of Intervention 1 – UfM Housing Action Plan – Executive Summary (EN, FR, AR)