Seminar on Urban Strategies, Tools and Technologies in the Era of Sustainability, 17th – 18 October 2017, Sfax (Tunisia)

During 17-18 October 2017 in Sfax (Tunisia), the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, MedCities and the Sfax Municipality, in collaboration with the KTC Sfax-MedCities, the European Committee of the Regions within the ARLEM and the German cooperation agency GIZ, have carried out an international seminar entitled: « Strategies, tools and urban technologies in the sustainability era ». The seminar counted with the participation of more than a hundred attendees coming from thirty cities from Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Lebanon, as well as the local and international organizations involved in the consolidation of the strategic processes of urban development, thus becoming key stakeholders in accompanying the Mediterranean cities towards sustainable planning.

The seminar explored the practical application of urban planning in the light of social, economic and territorial sustainability, from the design of urban development strategies (EDCs) to the tools and technologies required for its implementation through specific and tangible projects. This seminar was held in a context of consolidation and decentralization in Tunisia, with municipal elections scheduled for next March 2018, which will allow a whole new scale of local development by the assumption of new competences by the cities.

This seminar complements the Nicosia Initiative, impulse by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the ARLEM, in order to foster decentralized cooperation with Libyan cities with the aim of reinforcing their public services. Similarly, the seminar is complemented with the reinforcement program of urban strategies in Libya promoted by the German cooperation agency GIZ. It is one of the few activities at a regional level that is working in the reinforcement of the capacities of Libyan local governments. MedCities had the opportunity to meet toghether with the Delegation of Libyan Cities where introducing the current urban issues on their cities and start assessing potential further collaborations.

Introduction of new tools in urban management is necessary in order to optimize resources and achieve the goals established in the EDCs, adapt them to the socioeconomic context and design new scenarios provided with innovative solutions. Without wanting to evaluate the core principles established in the Smart City model during the last years, it is necessary to underline the important role played by technology in the improvement of the procedures of local governance.

In this context, the conferences haven been designed in several formats. The first day held one based on three axis: EDCs, Energetic Transition and Urban management of water systems and wastes; whilst on the second day there were participative workshops aimed to identify potential synergies between the participant cities, along with a series of visits to innovative projects in the city of Sfax. The seminar opening session counted with the introductions developed by:

Mr Wassim Zouari, First Vice President of the Municipality of Sfax and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee;

  • Mr Dr. Dr. Mohamed Idaomar, President of MedCities;

  • Mr. Xavier Tiana, General Secretary of MedCités;

  • Mr. Mustafa Baruni, Mayor of Zintan, Representative of the delegation of Libyan Cities in COR-ARLEM.

  • Reinforcement of capacities of local governments is basic tool for the development of the societies of the Mediterranean, that find in local solutions the ways to work and cooperation necessary to improve the life quality of the citizens, which relies largely on the provision of quality urban services with respect for the principles of good governance.

    List of cities: TUNISIA: Sfax / Djerba Midoun / Gabes / Kairouan / Mahdia / M’Saken / Monastir/ Nabeul / Sidi Bou Said / Sousse / Tunis / Manzel Bourguiba / Tataouine / Bizerte / SakietEzzit / Agereb / Sidi Bouzid / Kasserine. MOROCCO: Chefchaouen / Tanger / Tétouan. LIBYA: Msallata / Hi ha Al Andalus / Zintan / Sabha / Ghariyan / Toubruk / Benghazi / Sirte. LEBANON: Batroun. SPAIN: Barcelona / Manresa

    For further details, please, please find below the presentations developed during the Conference Sessions:


    Session 1 – City Development Strategy

    This session focused on the link between sustainable urban planning and innovative tools that enable the generation of new city management strategies, particularly with regard to public administration and citizenship, by providing case studies of co-design and co-production of solutions for increasing the management of common assets and city governance.

    1. Mr. Carles Casamor, Urban Planner at the Municipality of Barcelona – Interventions in public spaces as a driving force for change in the districts of the city of Barcelona

    2. Mrs. Leonor López Vega, Senior Technical Advisor, Local Development Support Programme, UNDP TunisiaPresentation of the Madinatouna Project

    3. Mr. IhabKalaoun, Member of the Municipal Council, Union of Batroun Municipalities, Lebanon & CDS Expert Strategie de Development des Villes Mediterraneen – Tripoli (Lybia) Old City Case Study.

    4. Mr. RafikOualha, Responsible for Decentralized Cooperation, Municipality of SfaxPresentation of the Development Strategy of the Grand Sfax


    Session 2 – Energy Transition

    This session focused on tools and examples of urban initiatives for reducing energy consumption and improving infrastructure efficiency, as well as methodologies and procedures for energy management at the city level, the development of communities in transition to energy sovereignty, methodologies and practices, and the development of SEAPs.

    1. Mr. Pierre Couté, Project « Promoting the development of sustainable energy in Mediterranean cities »CES-MED Project. Planning tools for energy transition in cities. CES-MED experience in the Maghreb

    2. Mr. Baligh Souilem, ANME

    3. Commune of Agareb – HORIZON 2025 A place where it is good to live and undertake

    4. Mr. Kayes el Jenzri, Urban Planner, Municipality of Sousse – Energy Transition in the City of Sousse


    Session 3 – Management of urban water supply / waste systems

    This session will focus on the introduction of innovations in management, including new technologies, in relation to water/waste systems, for the improvement of public services and identification of priority intervention areas.

    1. Mr. Mohamed Marrekchi, Representative of the National Sanitation Office (ONAS – Tunisia)Wastewater management in urban areas

    2. Mr. Richard Elelman, CTM Manresa, Technology Centre of Catalonia (CTM-EURECAT) – The reuse of water in the urban context

    3. Mr. Lofti Bousbih, Commune of BizerteGeDeTun Project

    4. Seifeddine Makni, Manager of the Waste Management Department, Municipality of Nabeul – EET and COOP-VERD Project in the City of Nabeul


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