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Addressing Territorial Cohesion Challenges and Promoting the Role of Cities in MENA

  • Starts: May 04, 2017
  • Ends: May 05, 2017
  • Location: Marseille, France
  • By: CMI, WB, EIB, AFD, UCLG, Codatu, Cities Alliance, GIZ, AVITEM
  • Context and rationale


    The members of the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) Urban Hub held on May 4-5, 2017 at the Villa Valmer, Marseille, France an inaugural workshop.


    This workshop convened more than 50 national and local government representatives, urban practitioners, researchers and urban activists from six countries – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and, Tunisia – along with other international and national stakeholders –including Urban Hub members – from Brazil, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and the US.


    It takes place in a context where the MENA region is facing demographic pressure and rapid urbanization: if the region is currently 60% urbanized, it will experience a projected 45% increase of its urban population by 2030 (equal to 106 million additional urban inhabitants)[1].


    Concentrating people and resources, cities in MENA have largely contributed to the improvement of standard development indicators, which showed a constant decrease in absolute poverty in most MENA countries over the past decades. Yet the urbanization process has also contributed to concentrate and exacerbate socio-economic inequalities within growing urban territories, between larger and smaller cities, as well as between cities and their hinterlands.


    Especially since the Arab spring uprisings – generated and anchored in Arab cities and fueled by significant regional disparities in access to basic services and to opportunities[2] – addressing social disparities and spatial inequalities has become a political priority for several government in the region, and donors also highlighted the importance to promote a more balanced yet sustainable territorial development and the key role of cities in operationalizing local and regional development.




    The workshop, which was organized around interactive working sessions allowing participants to share their experience and learn from others approaches and initiatives, had the following objectives:

    • To identify the key levers of territorial cohesion and regional development and to advocate the key role of cities when designing and implementing territorial policies;
    • To promote knowledge sharing through encouraging exchanges on good practices and lessons learned from the ground and discussing how they could be adapted to different contexts;
    • To encourage multi-stakeholder networks (including policy makers, practitioners, academics, etc.) to inform policy-making.


    [1] According to WB projections.

    [2] One of Egypt’s poorest regions, Upper Egypt, is home to about 38% of Egypt’s population and 67% of its poor. (WBG, Egypt Systematic Country Diagnostic, September 2015). In Tunisia, there is almost a 20% point gap between unemployment rates in leading and lagging governorates As for access to public water networks, it varies from 61% in the North West to 97% in Tunis (WBG, Tunisia Urbanization Review, June 2014).





    Program Agenda

    Summary Report 


    Participants’ Presentations


    May 4, 2017 – Introductory Session

    Lamia Zaki, Presentation of the CMI Urban Hub Stocktaking Paper on Territorial Cohesion


    May 4, 2017 – Plenary Session 1

    09:30 AM – 10:45 AM: Improving outcomes for residents of lagging areas

    Nancy Lozano Garcia. Diagnosing the Challenge and Designing Interventions.

    Samir Lazaar. Operationalizing a National Strategy: Tunisia

    Khaled Abdelhalim. Assessing the Governance of Local Service Delivery: the Experience of the Local Development Observatory


    May 4, 2017 – Plenary Session 2

    11:00 AM – 12:15 PM: Cities and local economic development

    Nancy Lozano Garcia. Tools to Foster Local Economic Development in Cities

    Claire Charbit. Towards a Better Contribution of Cities to Local Development Cities

    Dalila El Harras. Territorial Development through Economic Partnerships: The case of Chefchaouen (FR)


    May 4, 2017 – Parallel Session A1.

    02:00 PM – 03:30 PM: Strategic Planning and Multilevel governance

    Nadia Gouta. Coordinating development planning at different scales: the preparation of the Tunisia 5-year national development plan and the regional plans

    Mustapha Hijazi. City Development Strategies: from planning to implementation, the case of Saida (Lebanon)

    Oriol Estela. Metropolitan Governance: Institutions, Instruments and Processes. The Case of Barcelona


    May 4, 2017 – Parallel Session A2.

    02:00 PM – 03:30 PM: Improving Service Delivery Through Multi-Level Governance and Inter-Municipal Cooperation

    Mohammed Riahi and Mohamed Idaomar. Building Inclusive Networks of City Leaders and Practitioners and Promoting Peer-to-Peer Learning: Lessons from the Morocco and Tunisia

    Mohammed Saadieh. Municipal Cooperation for Strategic Development of Rural Municipalities in Lebanon: the Territorial Strategic Development Plan of the Dannieh Region

    Slaven Klobučar. Lessons from the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (Committee of Regions, EU)


    May 5, 2017 – Parallel Session B1.

    09:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Building Inclusive Cities

    Olivier Toutain. Lessons from the Cities Without Slums Program (Morocco)

    Sabrina Chikhaoui. Promoting Youth Participation in City Development, the Case of Tunisia

    Joao Sette Whitaker. Promoting Urban Inclusion in São Paulo - Brazil: Experience from South America


    May 5, 2017 – Parallel Session B2.

    09:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Enhancing Urban Accessibility and Mobility to Improve Territorial Cohesion in Mediterranean Cities

    Loubna Boutaleb. Urban Transport Development Strategy in Rabat-Sale: Dealing with Inclusivity

    Ayman Smadi. Coordinating Between Transport and Land-Use Policies to Build Inclusive Cities: the Case of Greater Amman Transport Master Plan

    Benjamin Fouchard. From Connectivity to Accessibility: Improving Access to Jobs and Services and Fostering Social Inclusion Through Integrated Urban Policies. Examples from the Mediterranean Area


    May 5, 2017 – Plenary Session 3.

    11:15 AM – 12:15 PM: Monitoring and Evaluating Cohesion Policies and Regional Development

    Holger Kuhle. Measuring Local Economic Development: Coordinating Between National and Local Governments to Frame Indicators and Collect Data

    Alexandros Karvounis. Towards a Better Assessment of Regional Policies at the Macro and Micro Level



    Event's Photo