Last 26 June took place the Mashrek Dissemination Seminar on City Strategies in Tripoli, Lebanon, organized by the KTC of AlFayhaa. The seminar was addressed to municipal representatives from Middle Eastern countries as well as Eastern Mediterranean countries.

This dissemination seminar focuse d on presenting and promoting the concept of urban sustainable development strategies and on specific issues related to the implementation of the UDS

In the opening session, Dr. Nader Gazal, President of Urban Community of Alfayhaa and Mayor of Tripoli, had some words to recognize the work done by Mr. Joan Parpal, Secretary General of MedCities, and Mr. Abdallah Abdul Wahab, Former Director of Urban Community of Alfayhaa.

Also welcomed was made by Mr. Ramzi Nohra, Governor of the North of Lebanon; that expressed gratitude for all the people who have been working on the development of AlFayhaa.

The first session of the morning focused on the need and the advantages of decentralised cooperation, taking the example of UDS of AlFayhaa and its project as a successful experience on the Middle East.  In this framework was presented the USUDS project, its objectives, the methodology used and the big impact on the cities that are in the end of their processes of implementing their UDS: Saida, Sousse and Larnaca.

Afterwards, there was a session by Dr. Mosbah Rajab, Head of Urban Planning Department of the Lebanese University, on the future of cities and strategic planning. Dr. Mosbaq exposed different urban theories on development and made an analysis focuses on the realities of the Mediterranean where cities are growing dramatically demographically. In this new context, UDS are very important with the engagment of stakeholders and private initiative.

After this theoric mark, there was the opportunity to know better three examples on strategic planning in the Mashrek: Dannieh Municipalities Union in Lebanon, Union of Municipalites of Jezzine also in Lebanon, and Greater Jarash in Jordan.

Then, USUDS team, explained wich tools offers the project to implement UDS and to disseminate the concept to other cities: the Knowledge Transfer Centers and the USUDS Platform. This session preceed the presentation of the UDS that are beong developed under the framework of USUDS project: Larnaca and Saida.

Finally, during the last session, the was space and time to discuss on how to implement a UDS and which are the tools that we can use to improve our efforts. Mr Fawaz Hamidi, Director of BIAT, introduce the idea of Public-Private concerted actions and how to lobby as a Municipality,. Then, Eng. Diran Harmandayan, exposed the need of monitoring and evaluation and finally, Mr. Abdallah Abdul Wahab, explained the example of the Local Development Bureau of AlFayhaa.

To close the seminar, Mr. Joan Parpal emphasize the importance of facing the external factors that are real barriers for the implementation of UDS, and Dr. Nader Ghazal stressed the need of beiong engaged in UDS in the realities of the Mashreq Region.