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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).
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 – 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:
 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).
May 4, 2017 – Introductory Session
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. Video EN
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 Video FR
Dalila El Harras. Territorial Development through Economic Partnerships: The case of Chefchaouen (FR) Video FR
May 4, 2017 – Parallel Session A1.
02:00 PM – 03:30 PM: Strategic Planning and Multilevel governance
Mustapha Hijazi. City Development Strategies: from planning to implementation, the case of Saida (Lebanon) Video EN
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
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) Video FR
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 Video FR
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 Video FR
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 Video FR
May 5, 2017 – Plenary Session 3.
11:15 AM – 12:15 PM: Monitoring and Evaluating Cohesion Policies and Regional Development
Alexandros Karvounis. Towards a Better Assessment of Regional Policies at the Macro and Micro Level