USUDS Newsletter
#49 - February 2019


MedCities Activity Report 2018

MedCities has published its 2018 Activity Report, bringing together the work undertaken by the Association over the course of the previous calender year. The activities gathered in the report demonstrate the positive benefits that cooperation can yield, and the key role that cities and metropolitan areas play in furthering urban development and improving the lives of Mediterranean citizens. English Version here. Version française ici.


Methodological guidelines for CDS development in Tunisia

A City Development Strategy (CDS) is a way of planning the economic, social, environmental and spatial development of a city by defining a vision, identifying strategic axes and developing a global action plan over the short, medium and long term for sustainable and equitable growth. A CDS does not replace traditional planning instruments but is intended to complement them by developing the territory in a sustainable way and improving the standard of living of all citizens. These guidlines - developed as part of the Madinatouna project - address the development of CDS in Tunisian cities.


Cities of Refuge in the Middle East: Bringing an Urban Lens

This policy note by the World Bank aims to advance our understanding of urban forced displacement induced by conflict by looking at the issue from the perspective of receiving towns and cities. It explores why we need a different approach to addressing urban forced displacement; how to "think differently"  along the humanitarian and development assistance spectrum; what we can learn from existing urbanization and other relevant experiences to inform humanitarian responses; and what "thinking differently" means for local, national, and international development actors.


Second Annual Meeting on Municipal Investment Finance

7-8 March 2019, Malaga.

GO SUMP Brussels Sessions on Mobility and Tourism

20 - 21 March 2019, Brussels.

Nicosia TechCamp - GO SUMP Project

27 March 2019, Nicosia.

Management of Marine Litter Impacts on Biodiversity - PANACeA

11 April 2019, Seville.

AVITEM 2019 cycle of metropolitan workshops

April 2019, Métropole de Casablanca.


New project on ecotourism promotion and territorial branding

The Unions of Municipalities of Batroun and of Jezzine and the territory of Zgharta Eden will benefit from the launching of the new MedCities project TER-BRAND to promote sustainable and alternative tourism.


ARLEM Award and tenth plenary session

The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) will this week announce the winner of its inaugural ARLEM Award for young Mediterranean entrepreneurs that have had positive impacts at the local level.


Capitalizing on progress in sustainable urban mobility

The GO SUMP project – which houses the Urban Transports Community (UTC) of the Interreg MED programme – is due to come to a close in October 2019 and, in the coming months, will be launching a series of activities.


MedUrbanTools expanded and now available in French

MedUrbanTools – the knowledge-sharing platform on urban development in the Mediterranean – will now be able to reach a greater audience with the February 2019 launch of a French-language version of the website.


Supporting sustainable waste management in Lebanon

MedCities has engaged in multiple activities to support its members in their efforts to improve recycling and waste management, including February visits to the Al Fayhaa Urban Community and Mennieh.


Cooperation Alliance brings together local and regional governments from around the Mediterranean

On 4 February, MedCities gave its backing to a new initiative for the promotion of cooperation and sustainable development in the Mediterranean when it signed the Mediterranean Cooperation Alliance Joint Declaration. The declaration aims to brings together the principal networks of local and regional governments in the Mediterranean to work together on joint projects while, at the same time, valuing the varying strategies and cooperation initiatives being developed in the region. Along with MedCities, it was signed by the Intermediterranean Commission (IMC) of the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions, the Pyrenees-Mediterranean Euroregion, the Adriatic Ionian Euroregion and Latin Arc. The declaration is also supported by the Union for the Mediterranean.


Integrated approaches to cooperation in the Mediterranean

A fundamental characteristic of the MedCities Association is its promotion of urban development cooperation between local authorities from all shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Increasingly, the message that sustainability and good governance depend on approaching the Mediterranean as a single, integrated region is being heard – and amplified – by a variety of institutions and actors. In an example of this growing recognition, in February MedCities gave its support to the Mediterranean Cooperation Alliance, signing a joint declaration that demands of EU and Euro-Mediterranean Institutions to work harder towards the "integration of emerging sea basin, macro-regional strategies and other co-owned initiatives and cooperation instruments" with the aim of building "a common, more cohesive and co-owned Mediterranean macro-region". The Alliance is open to all types of actors, including governments – national, regional and local – international organisations, universities, NGOs and the private sector, provided that they share the vision of an integrated approach to cooperation in the Mediterranean region. One of the issues that demonstrates the need for integration in Mediterranean cooperation is biodiversity protection, with ecosystems recognising neither territorial boundaries nor institutional competences. Last December's declaration on "Ecosystem-based approaches for biodiversity protection and management" that was presented at the European Parliament by the Interreg MED Biodiversity Protection Community – of which MedCities is a partner – is thus the kind of initiative welcomed by the Mediterranean Cooperation Alliance. The complex and common problems facing Mediterranean cities and metropolitan areas in the 21st century demand cooperation that is integrated at political, technical and territorial levels, and the Joint Declaration is an important step in that direction.

Real improvement is of slow growth only (Seneca)

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acting as General Secretariat