Larnaka receives the 18th MedCities General Assembly with a wide participation

The 18th annual General Assembly of MedCities was held in Laranka (Cyprus) in a hybrid format and with the participation of a wide representation of members.

The first day was focused on the International Seminar which went deeper as far as projects were concern and served members to better understand how they can apply for projects’ funds and get more from MedCities accompaniment.

The Secretary-General of MedCities, Josep Canals, explained the report of activities conducted by the association during 2022, regarding the financial balance, the updates and advances in the Strategic Plan of MedCities 2030, and the communications improvements of the association such as the translation from the website into Arabic or a new internal section for members. Also, Mr. Canals underlined the importance of the common vision of the association: “MedCities must consolidate itself as an organization managing sustainable development projects and new governance for local governments in the Mediterranean“.

Additionally, MedCities Director Oriol Barba exposed the projects developed during the year and their results, and he presented the new ones approved for the following year -PRIMA, HORIZON, Interreg Euro Med programme and others funded by the Barcelona City Council, the Barcelona Metropolitan Area or the Government of Catalunya (through its Cooperation Agency) as well as some projects funded by the Province of Barcelona-, some of which already started in 2022. Mr. Barba also highlighted the will of MedCities to work closely with more members and be able to count on them on the projects as the main beneficiary or, for instance, as a pilot or replicable cities.

During the General Assembly session, the interventions came from the cities of Bethlehem, Tripoli, Montpellier, El Minah, Jbeil, Jezzine Union of Municipalities, Saida, Larnaka among others. The members agreed on the acceptance of the candidatures of new cities which applied to join MedCities. Finally, the Assembly welcomed 6 new members that had the chance to present themselves in front of the former members. Those made the association grow until reach the 73 members.

  • Hatay
  • Castelló de la Plana
  • Rethymno
  • Glyfada
  • Sarafand
  • Roskovec

As far as the observer members concerned, it was agreed to include these institutions, so now, edCities count on 7 observer members:

The members of the assembly discussed the importance of implementing gender equality in all their projects, as well as working from the metropolitan view, among other topics.

Additionally, during the sessions, Mr. Canals presented a declaration to be submitted and approved: the Lampedusa Charter” which expresses the commitment of local authorities in the dignification of human mobility and territorial sustainability.

The General Assembly of MedCities represents an annual space for the members to express the needs of their cities and to discuss the results of the projects and activities developed during the year. This was the first year after the pandemic in which members and MedCities technical staff could meet again regularly in some physical missions. This fact was also underlined and was positively valued.

Nevertheless, the participation and implication of the members have assured the success of the assembly again and have put on the table the most important topics and problems to be tackled together during the following year. Also, this was an important year as the Board of Directors will be renewed and voted. Related to this fact Secretary-General Josep Canals highlights that the high interest of members (19) to be part of the Board of Directors is a good sign of “the great commitment that mayors showed to continue building a strong association in the future”.

Find here some of the documents for the General Assembly 2022.

International Seminar

MedCities celebrates its annual conference 2022 and the general assembly in Larnaka. This year the seminar was aimed to bring city councils a wide view and understanding of how they can better work for greener cities in the Mediterranean. Under the title “Mediterranean greener and more sustainable cities.
How to get the most from your membership in MedCities
” the seminar served to explain how MedCities members could work together and learn from each other by exchanging knowledge. To this end, the seminar count on a representative from the CREAF (Center for Ecological Research and Forest Applications) that briefly explained what a green city means and how cities can get solutions to nowadays challenges, also taking into account the citizen science and the use of data to better protect biodiversity in cities. Also, a key point was an explanation about how to better ‘reconnect’ citis with their natural environment to make them greener and healthier.

The morning was divided into three tables of discussions that had Mr. Canals and Mr. Barba as moderators. The topics adressed were link to on going MedCities projects divided in these topics:

  • Sustainable mobility
  • Planning greener cities
  • Sustainable management of coastal cities (with an spetial point on the port-city relation and future working group)

Some members took part fro the discussions and shared their experiences in terms of lessons learned and challenges addressed in some of the projectes they have been or are still involved in. The link between tourism and soft mobility, the plans of bikes lanes or pedestrian paths, electro mobility or enabling spaces for pedestrians in city centers, or the impact that the pandemic has left in most of the cities were the key discussed topics.

Make greener cities by ‘decarbonizing’ the environment and also to work to gain more green areas in city centers was also an interesting topic that raised interest. Some of nowadays MedCities projects are focused on this issue so cities were interested in knowing more about the solutions and impacts generated in the cities involved in those projects.

A real exchange of knowledge was generated and Mayors and representatives took the time to have deep discussions even after the seminar. “This reach talks and sharings give sense to what MedCities is“, said the Secretary-General, Mr. Canals.

City representatives had some more time to discuss other interesting topics and they summoned to work together in the near future.

Find here some of the documents for the International Seminar 2022.

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