Secretary General, Josep Canals i Molina participated in the conference hosted by  ALDA (Association of Local Democracy Agencies) on its 20th anniversary. Mr. Canals presented the ASIMA Tunis project, led by MedCities, and underlined the importance of the appropriation of the project by the City of Tunis, but also the need to connect with the citizens throughout the project.

The theme of this webinar was «Sustainable Mediterranean Cities» and was set to introduce two large cooperation projects developed under the DG DEVCO Call «Local Authorities: Partnerships for sustainable cities»; the AUTREMENT project (Strasbourg, Kairouan, Mahdia and ALDA) and the ASIMA TUNIS project (MedCities, Tunis and AMB).

The conferences started with the warm welcome of Mr. Oriano Otocan, president of ALDA and representative of the region of Istria (Croatia) who presented ALDA’s work at the European and Mediterranean level. The webinar presented the two projects that reflect the way in which Mediterranean cities collaborate between them and evolve together in terms of civil society engagement and knowledge transfer.

On one hand, our Secretary General explained the ASIMA TUNIS project: « Strategic planning and multi-level governance for a metropolitan and resilient city » and he referred to it in these terms: «It’s a project where citizen engagement and local authorities’ engagement is key. People need to feel that this project is really their own. They need to be engaged in the conception, the vision, the approach, the pilot projects… on any issue: children policy, housing. In the case of ASIMA TUNIS they will be particularly engaged on the issue of waste, recycling bins and recycling campaigns. Short term, small scale projects with an impact at the neighbourhood level are important for the local population».

The project is implemented in a partnership between the Municipality of Tunis, MedCities and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB). It takes a metropolitan approach to tackle the main urban challenges of Tunis. Nowadays, Tunis lacks metropolitan institutionalization, hence why it is crucial to work on multi-level governance, in an inclusive manner. To do this, the project counts on the extensive expertise of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) in shared metropolitan services in sectors such as energy, water, waste management. AMB will share its knowledge and technical capacity to  implement this vision of the «Grand Tunis», through the participation of civil society and through a truly democratic process of building together the City Development Strategy of Tunis.

On the other hand, representatives of AUTREMENT project talked about its goals and carachteristics. The AUTREMENT project: «Amenagement Urbain du Territoire pour réinventer les mobilités et engager les Tunisiens » is implemented in a partnership between Strasbourg, Kairouan and Mahdia. 

The objective of the AUTREMENT project is to promote active mobility and citizen participation in local affairs, and in particular concerning urban strategic planning in Kairouan and Mahdia. The project includes 7 micro-projects, to really have a local and focused impact in these cities.

Mrs. Sandrine Millet summarized: «Every step of the project has to be shared with Kairouan because the engagement of local authorities is key and partnerships are very important to really get very lively and active networks. And we cannot forget the citizen participation all along the project to ensure the projects’ sustainability». 

During the Q&A, Mr. Josep Canals i Molina  explained that MedCities has a high number of Tunisian member cities and that it works closely with the Municipality of Tunis and the Fédération Nationale des Villes Tunisiennes, which are very proactive and engaged.


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