Barcelona, 22 February 2013. Senior Official Experts (SOEs) from UfM partner countries, representatives from the European Commission, the Arab League, International Financial Institutions (IFI’s), as well as numerous institutions working on urban matters, met in Barcelona on the occasion of the Fourth Senior Officials Experts Meeting of the UfM Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Development Strategy. The event was organized by the UfM Secretariat and took place on 22 February 2013.
During the meeting, the latest version of the “Guidance framework for sustainable Euro-Mediterranean cities and territories” (GF) was discussed and reviewed. The Guidance Framework aims to enable a shared perspective in urban and territorial strategies; specify the core values of a balanced sustainable urban development that respects people and the environment; and offer a basis for discussion for the authorities implementing sustainable development initiatives.
Participants also discussed the state of play of the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI), which is the second component of the Strategy and aims to favour the emergence of sustainable urban development projects likely to be coordinated by the Union for the Mediterranean. It is expected that from 10 to 15 sustainable urban development projects will have been identified upon the completion of the study (June, 2013) and will receive funding and technical assistance.
The UfM Secretariat informed that the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) is conducting a study to analyse the third and fourth components of the Strategy, namely the organization of an Award for Urban Innovation to identify and promote best practices, and the creation of an Urban Agency for the Mediterranean to support sustainable urban development in the region. The study will be finalised during the first semester of 2013.
This series of Senior Officials Experts Meetings follows from the First UfM Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, held in Strasbourg in November 2011, which entrusted the Senior Official Experts to formulate the Strategy with the support of the UfM Secretariat.