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Medinas 2030

Status: Completed

  • The rehabilitation of medinas, the ancient centers of Arab cities, is more than a matter of urban renewal: It is an opportunity to celebrate cultural heritage, and to give it new life. The Medinas 2030 program aims to:

    • raise awareness among public policy makers of the importance of rehabilitating historical urban centres;
    • identify and define the key challenges for medina renovation operations, including regulatory, planning, institutional, architectural, social, cultural, economic, environmental and financial;
    • develop integrative strategies to address these challenges, in order to promote a rational development of medinas in line with sustainable economic growth, improvement of living conditions for residents, and creation of employment opportunities;
    • identify suitable projects for financing, and suitable financial instruments and approaches for implementing medina investments;
    • ensuring the involvement of all key stakeholders, particularly the local population.

    The EIB co-manages the Medinas 2030 initiative together with the CDC.  Medinas 2030 is guided by a scientific committee composed of policy makers from the Mediterranean countries, urban experts, and representatives of development agencies and European institutions.

    The challenges of medina development have been identified, a Medina book has been produced, and a “Medina brand” has been created through workshops and other activities.  A preoperational study to identify projects that integrate spatial, economic, and social planning with innovative funding mechanisms has been completed in 2013. The complexity of rehabilitating medinas raises costs (25 to 30 percent more than traditional upgrading operations), making it necessary to explore innovative financing options.

    In 2012, two Medinas 2030 workshops took place.  More than 70 participants from 20 Mediterranean cities gathered at the CMI in April 2012 to discuss the preoperational study and the results of a pilot study of the Meknes medina. The group identified elements to be addressed in rehabilitation projects. A second workshop took place in November 2012 to examine national institutional frameworks, project implementation capacities, regulatory and institutional issues, and financial instruments in light of the preliminary results of the preoperational study.

    Following completion of the Pre-Operational Study,  presented at a workshop in April 2013, partners are exploring the way forward for the Medinas 2030 Programme as it enters an operational phase.


    Gerry Muscat, Senior Urban Specialist, Regional and Urban Development