- Urban Intergroup at the European Parliament
The event is dedicated to launch of the initiative financed by the European Parliament, managed by European Commission and implemented by UN-Habitat to support implementation of the New Urban Agenda by city-to-city cooperation. The purpose of this networking event is to provide opportunity for experts and stakeholders to contribute to verification of the proposed action programme and to participate in implementing the initiative, possibly becoming partners in this initiative.
The event will start with a panel debate of European Parliament, European Commission, and 2 or 3 UN agencies (tbc UNCDF, tbc UNOPS), including UN Habitat, and 2 mayors of European and African Cities, each describing the issues of implementing New Urban Agenda in the cities of developing countries from a perspective of their institution. The stakeholders attending this event will then have an opportunity to contribute from the floor. Moderator will sum up the debate at the end. The stakeholders who have presented views that can contribute to implementation of this initiative will be invited for further individual dialogues.
The initiative itself seeks cities in developing countries to become empowered to deliver sustainable urban development by improved knowledge of policy makers in the field of access to finance and integrated investment planning (integrating financial, spatial and legal dimensions).
The work will deliver two results:
1. Determine gaps and bottlenecks in methodology of funding urban development in the developing countries vis-à-vis good European experiences of the financial capacities of municipalities to deliver prosperous and sustainable urban development.
2. Envisage and qualify the capacities needed both at the cities of the developing countries and at the international institutions for empowering them to deliver sustainable urban development using new planning and financial instruments, including blending grants and loans.
Sustainable urban growth requires properly financed and functioning local governments, institutions and infrastructure, but in many cities, authorities are unable to meet local needs, because of chronically insufficient funding. Urban development is not possible without active participation of local authorities.
Nowhere are infrastructure decisions more critical than in cities. The planning and financing decisions made today will determine the world's development outcomes for the next century. With the right financing conditions, cities can lead the global community in implementing projects to set in motion a societal transformation.
In parallel to better abilities to capture urban value at the local and national level, increasing access capacities to financial markets of local authorities is a critical element for improving public and private/public partnerships investments in basic services aiming at the improvement of living conditions in urban areas. While the power of integrated investment planning has been demonstrated in numerous urban centres across Europe, it remains rarely adopted, or with very limited results in the context of developing countries.
The initiative to focus on a major challenge encountered by cities in developing countries, urban governance, and, more specifically, use EU cities expertise in related fields for capacity building purposes to address financial, legal and urban planning components in an integrated manner.