In the frame of the A’SIMA Tunis project activities, MedCities and its partner Fédération Nationale des Communes Tunisiennes (FNCT) co-organised a workshop to launch the network of Tunisian cities on strategic planning. In parallel, the city of Tunis continues the elaboration of its City Development Strategy and launched a diagnostic of waste management in the metropolitan area.

A’SIMA Tunis aims to empower Tunisian local authorities to better plan their cities. For that reason, MedCities and its associate partner FNCT aim to capitalise existing experiences and good practices through the newly created “Network of Cities on Territorial Development and Local Planning” (réseau DTPL). The network also aims to contribute to the national policy on urban strategic planning and development, by bringing the voice of local authorities. The network is the result of a call for expression of interest and counts with the participation of 21 cities, 7 of which are MedCities members: Nabeul, Sfax, Kairouan, Beni Khalled, Sidi Ali Beloun, Gabès, Msaken, Tabarka, Menzel Bourguiba, Tataouine, Jelma, La Soukra, Beni Khiar Agereb, Dkhilet Toujane, Sawaf, Kasserine, Messadine, Teboursouk, Oued Mliz, Ghomrassen.

On October 25th, 38 city representatives met in Sousse for the kick-off event of the network. During the workshop, the cities discussed their experiences in local strategic planning, shared good practices and lessons learnt. The participants also worked together to elaborate the network’s charter as a principal guiding document. The charter states the network’s main objectives, activities and expected results. Members also had the opportunity to discuss on what could be the main challenges and obstacles ahead for the network, and set guidelines to start implementing its activities. Overall, the kick-off event was a success in terms of both attendance and content.

In parallel, the Municipality of Tunis hosted a two-day training on “Metropolitan Governance in the context of the Grand Tunis”, that took place on October 11th and 12th. Understanding the metropolitan context of Tunis is key for the CDS, since Tunis is located in an urban continuum of 38 cities. In order to develop a comprehensive City Strategy that anchors the city of Tunis in a connected metropolitan context, a change of paradigm and vision is required; shifting from the city-scale to the metropolitan area scale. To support this reflection process, the project organizes several capacity building activities addressed at municipalities and other city stakeholders (municipal agencies, universities etc.). 27 participants, both municipal technical staff and elected counselors, attended the two-day training, delivered in-person by AVITEM experts. The training allowed participants to debate and reflect on different types of metropolitan processes or metropolitan governance strategies, of inspiration for the Grand Tunis area. Together with the Metropolitan Roundtable that took place on 23rd September, this training kick-started the process of collective reflection on the future of Tunis in its metropolitan context.

Finally, at the end of the month a technical mission of MedCities was organised in Tunis. Project partners met to discuss several aspects of the project, to plan the next steps for the elaboration of the City Strategy of Tunis, after the validation of the diagnosis, and the launching of the communication campaign for the CDS. A meeting was also held, on the 26th October, with experts on waste in order to review and launch the diagnostic process, which aims to provide a strategic analysis of the integrated waste management in the Grand Tunis, bringing together all relevant actors.

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