USUDS Newsletter
#51 - May 2019


Environmental actors address Mediterranean biodiversity protection

Around 80 Mediterranean environmental actors came together at the Orto Botanico in Rome to discuss ecosystem-based responses to Mediterranean biodiversity challenges. Transferring the lessons learnt through the Interreg MED Biodiversity Protection Community, the event expanded previous debates  by integrating the need to involve the private sector and establish effective public-private partnerships.


The Zero Waste Cities Masterplan

The Zero Waste Masterplan is a tool to help cities move toward ‘clean' waste management and implement the principles of the circular economy. The Masterplan guides cities through a number of phases for the implementation of Zero Waste projects. These include mapping the existing situation, learning the principles of Zero Waste Cities and engaging citizens.


Decentralised cooperation in the Med and Middle East

This research examines decentralised cooperation in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with a focus on the projects and best practices of Italian regions. The study looks at a range of models of decentralised cooperation, including: knowledge transfer and capacity building; empowerment and multi-sectoral interventions; and partnership and implementation tools.


EEDays water and energy seminar

19-21 June 2019, Tangier.

Closing of Interreg MED calls for projects

27 June 2019.

Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award close of applications

12 July 2019.

2nd UfM Energy and Climate Business Forum

18 July 2019, Lisbon.


GO SUMP provides sustainable mobility training

The Interreg Med GO SUMP project is holding high-level training courses, coordinated by MedCities with the support of AMB, to facilitate the transfer of sustainable mobility measures to cities around the Mediterranean.


Workshop addresses Port-City relations

MedCities contributed to the workshop of the Network of Mediterranean Urban Planners, organised by AVITEM, on 16 and 17 May. The workshop addressed the multifunctional and versatile space that a port has become.


Sustainability in the built environment

On 16 May, in Scilla, Italy, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Program, MedCities organised a roundtable on sustainable planning and management in Mediterranean cities.


Marine Protected Areas and the Mediterranean climate crisis

Researchers, scientists and international networks have gathered in Barcelona to discuss Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean and have emphasised the climate emergency facing the region.


Promoting Tourism in Zgharta Ehden

Zgharta-Ehden Municipality launched the "Ehden 2020 Tourism Plan" and the "Ehden Summer 2019" calendar, entitled "100 Activities within 100 Days", under the patronage of the Ministries of Tourism and Culture. The Ministers of Tourism and of Culture in Lebanon, along with many stakeholders, attended the event, during which a calendar for the summer of 2019 in Ehden was presented, detailing 100 activities of different types, such as eco tourism, religious tourism, training and educational workshops, festivals and artistic activities, gastronomic experiences, and sports. These activities are taking place in the framework of a strategy of sustainable rural tourism and emphasize the importance of preserving historical and environmental heritage and of respecting environmental standards.


Sustainable mobility in urban areas

Traffic is the single largest source of air pollution in cities and metropolitan areas. Globally, traffic is responsible for a quarter of particulate matter pollution in urban areas and, in addition, petrol and diesel vehicles release harmful nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases. The human and economic cost of unsustainable urban mobility is clear, with pollution-related deaths and illness both affecting workforces and placing enormous pressure on health services. Even beyond these drastic effects, the burden of ineffective and unsustainable transport systems is one that ordinary citizens feel on a daily basis. The high-density character of urban areas places acute pressures on transport systems through the sheer volume of movement of goods and people that move through a city on a daily basis. However, the density and proximity within cities also offers opportunities to make urban transport sustainable if it is comprehensively thought-out and implemented, such as through a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan. In addition to strategic planning, however, making urban mobility sustainable also demands cooperation. Mobility is an issue that transcends formal city boundaries; not only do air pollution and other environmental impacts have no respect for administrative divisions, but the efficient and sustainable transport of goods and people also demands cooperation across municipal authorities and with other levels of government. International initiatives – such as the European Union's Action Plan on urban mobility – are an important element of that cooperation, but mutual assistance among municipalities and metropolitan areas is also essential. It is only through the exchange of knowledge and support between Mediterranean cities – such as the innovative peer-to-peer sessions taking place in Barcelona at this month's GO SUMP High Level Training Courses – that urban transport can be made truly sustainable.

As the avenues and streets of a city are nothing less than its arteries and veins, we may well ask what doctor would venture to promise bodily health if he knew that the blood circulation was steadily growing more congested! (Hugh Ferriss)

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acting as General Secretariat