Tétouan and Marseille reinforce collaborative relations
The Mayor of Tétouan and President of MedCities, Mohammed Idaomar, and Secretary General Xavier Tiana, on the 25 July held a working meeting with the Mayor of Marseille, Jean Claude Gaudin, and the Deputy Mayor for International Relations and Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation, Jean Roatta. In the meeting, hosted by the city of Marseille, both Mayors reaffirmed their commitment to continue working together with MedCities and discussed the priorities of their cities in the Mediterranean region in the fields of sustainable urban development, economic attractiveness and tourism. The meeting also served to discuss the up-coming General Assembly of MedCities that will take place in Barcelona on October 4 and 5.
Intermediary Cities and the Chefchaouen Forum
‘Intermediary cities' are those that have a population of between 50,000 and one million inhabitants. According to data from United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), they are estimated to number around 9,000 and, together, they represent 36% of the world's urban population. Intermediary cities perform a role between the rural and the urban, they complement large metropolitan areas, are essential in the organisation of territories and the structuring of economies, and they act as buffers against the negative impacts of exchanges and flows at the global level. The position of intermediary cities – among which we find the majority of MedCities members – is relevant for cities across the Mediterranean given that they share many characteristics and often have significant difficulties in providing basic urban services due to a lack of technical and financial means, and because they often do not receive the institutional and political recognition they merit. At the same time, however, intermediary cities share a real opportunity to be well-placed for development if they have the leadership, skills and knowledge to create the necessary alliances, working in a networked manner at the national and international levels. At the First World Forum of Intermediary Cities, hosted with great success by the city of Chefchaouen between 5-7 July, participants discussed a range of issues relating to localization – through intermediary cities – of global sustainable development agendas. Among the themes addressed in the final declaration approved by the forum were the heritage assets of these important actors, the culture of ‘good living', the fight against climate change and the role of the citizenry.