.: The Euromedina urban network: a multilateral response to a local
Good governance and giving responsibility to local authorities are among the keys to sustainable development. Citizens are less isolated and participate more fully in decisions that concern them, which means that better use is made of local energy and commitment.
One of the major challenges facing local authorities is that of rapid urban expansion. The number of city dwellers is rising very rapidly everywhere, and particularly in developing countries. Local authorities are faced with growing demand for public services such as housing, transport, water and sanitation.
These challenges are particularly acute in the Middle East / North Africa region, where decentralisation is in its infancy and the populations of urban centres are growing exponentially (up from 40% of overall population in the 1970s to more than 70% in certain countries today).
The Europe-MENA urban network, which was created in March 2004 on the initiative of the City of Marseilles and the World Bank, emphasises a collective approach to reflection and action aimed at addressing urban management challenges. The partnership focuses on:
~ fostering the sharing of knowledge, experience and successful practice,
~ optimising training entities for elected representatives and territorial managers,
~ making expertise available to help partner municipalities to identify, evaluate, or implement urban development projects,
~ facilitating contacts liable to lead to collaborative development projects.
Central to this partnership is the idea that municipalities have become essential players in the fields of development and cooperation, and a determination to foster interaction, compare policies and transfer expertise relating to concrete urban-management questions.
See the network's Charter