USUDS Newsletter
# 44 - June 2018

HIGHLIGHT

Launch of MedUrbanTools

MedUrbanTools is a Mediterranean Urban Knowledge Sharing Platform. It is designed to be a useful and user-friendly database that not only includes technical content but also offers visual materials and best practices, thus promoting urban analysis while inspiring new initiatives. Click here to visit MedUrbanTools.

RESOURCES

Acting together for the Mediterranean: analysis and perspectives of cross-border cooperation

This report presents selected cross-border results achieved by the 95 projects funded by the ENPI CBC MED Programme, as well as a collection of valuable project outcomes suitable for additional support at regional and national level. It emphasises the value of cross-border cooperation within and beyond the Mediterranean area.

RESOURCES

Challenges of climate change in the Mediterranean: a guide for action

This report by ENERGIES 2050, the Institut de la Méditerranée and FEMISE is an examination of the Mediterranean basin in the context of the new international climate agenda. It aims to help situate specific problems within the transversal framework of climate action, the development agenda and the realities and needs of Mediterranean countries.

Agenda

UCLG Forum on Intermediary Cities

5 - 7 July 2018, Chefchaouen (Marocco)

Summer Course "Agenda 2030 for a Sustainable Development"

10 - 13 July 2018, Malaga (Spain)

Interreg MED MADRE Project - Final Local Event in Barcelona

11 July 2018, Barcelona (Spain)

Third Inter-Cities Meeting of the MADINATOUNA project

23 July 2018, Sousse (Tunisia)

PROJECTS

Cities and experts collaborate to promote urban agriculture

Marseille hosted the final international event of the EU Interreg MED MADRE Project.  It has devoted the last 16 months to collecting best practices and to discussing key challenges confronting six Mediterranean cities.

MEMBERS

Tanger and Tetouan address urban accessibility issues

MedCities undertook a mission in Tanger and Tetouan in the framework of the Cooperation Project 'Accés Tanger - Tetouan' (ATT), during which the project activities were designed and programmed.

PARTNERS

Addressing the challenges of sustainable urban mobility

MedCities participated within the seminar on "Sustainable Urban Mobility: Confronting air pollution and climate change" hold in Thessaloniki, Greece, as part of the REMEDIO project.

MEMBERS

Rethinking tourism and its promotion in Lebanon

The Union of Municipalities of Jezzine (Lebanon) launched its Tourism Territorial Branding programme, developed in the framework of the Strategic Plan of the Union with USAID funding.

PARTNERS

Introducing MedUrbanTools at CESBA MED

MedCities participated in the CESBA MED event "Policies, methods and tools for sustainable urban areas", an event which included the official launch of the CESBA Neighbourhood Award 2018.

PARTNERS

Plan Bleu 40s Anniversary

This June more than 130 participants gathered for an international conference to mark the occasion of Plan Bleu's 40 year anniversary. At the conference, organized jointly with the Association Serge Antoine, the fragility of the Mediterranean region and the multiple pressures it is facing were highlighted. Experts, decision-makers, representatives of national, European and Mediterranean institutions, and members of civil society discussed issues related to the Mediterranean basin as a whole, along with possible futures for the region. The Mediterranean is an ecoregion with a unique cultural heritage and exceptional biodiversity. However, it is also very fragile and sensitive to climate change. Its development concentrates on its coastal zones, subject to numerous challenges: coastal urbanization, mass tourism, fresh water overexploitation, marine litter, overfishing, maritime traffic, invasive species, among others.   

EDITORIAL

Urban Agriculture in the Mediterranean

The issue of sustainable food systems was brought onto the political agenda in 2015, when over 100 cities across the globe adopted the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Metropolitan agriculture can, and should, be a valuable part of food production systems but, despite a growing recognition of this potential, it remains under-valued in policy debates, hampering its consolidation. If nurtured, urban food production also has the potential to yield an abundance of non-monetary benefits that, if recognised, can be an incentive for increased investment in the sector. Growing food in urban areas has the potential to improve air quality, increase biodiversity, promote social cohesion, connect urban and rural areas and help prevent fire, flooding and erosion, among many other social and environmental benefits. In northern Mediterranean countries, while metropolitan agriculture is becoming a pillar of the design of resilient cities the reality is that agriculture is at serious risk of disappearing or becoming irrelevant in many regions. The declining economic importance of agriculture, along with competition for land use, have resulted in ever-decreasing numbers of farmers. In southern and eastern Mediterranean regions, meanwhile, food supply remains the principal benefit of agriculture, and one that should be promoted, but it is nonetheless necessary to address the challenge of water scarcity and recognise the value of sustainable metropolitan agriculture in combating the effects of climate change. Across the whole Mediterranean, legal and regulatory frameworks need to be adapted to facilitate metropolitan agriculture; local food systems should be an integral element of territorial and sectorial strategic planning, promoting synergies with other policy areas such as health, social inclusion, education and job creation. Ultimately, reaping the benefits of urban agriculture is a question of improving governance. This editorial draws upon the "Policy Recommendations" of the Interreg MED project MADRE. The creation of that common output was led by MedCities.

Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom, sharing it is the first step to humanity (Unknown).

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