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World Bank - Austria Urban Partnership Program (UPP)

Categories: City-to-City, News | Author: Maja | Posted: 1/10/2018 | Views: 4804
City to City Dialogue: November 14-15, 2017 Skopje, Macedonia

This two-day event was organized as part of the World Bank-Austria Urban Partnership Program (UPP) aimed to assist and support cities and local governments in South East Europe (SEE) in a process of modernization and reform, in order to promote local development for inclusive and sustainable growth, and enhanced urban governance. This year’s City to City Dialogue welcomed several guests from Eastern Partnership countries (Ukraine and Moldova) which are part of the European Commission Program – Mayors for Economic Growth. It was a unique opportunity for exchange and learning experience beyond SEE region.

The dialogue in Skopje was eight in a series of City to City dialogues and focused on action planning, sharing of good practices and experiences as well as problem solving through peer-to- peer knowledge exchange.

Regional event was opened by H.E. Suhejl Fazliu, Minister of Local Self Government of Macedonia, Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Regional Director for Western Balkans and Gabrielle Janezic, Deputy Head of Mission, Government of Austria. The workshop was attended by over 100 representatives from central government, local government administrations, including Mayors, finance departments, Local economic development officers, urban planners, Local Government Associations, NALAS, NGOs from seven South East Europe countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

UPP experts presented the redesigned Municipal Finance Self-Assessment Toolkit (MFSA 2.0), to be complemented with modernized visual software application that would be user friendly while considering specific revenue and expenditure classifications of different countries in the Region, to be launched in February 2018 as a part of UPP III.  Further, main findings of the second Municipal Finance Review (MFR) report were presented by the regional expert. Selected issues of disaggregated finances dataset compilation and usage were discussed by local finance experts. The MFR-II (update) aims to compile disaggregated municipal finance datasets and to analyze fiscal data and indicators across municipalities in the participating countries. It will equip the ministries, local government associations, think tanks and policy researchers with evidences for fiscal planning and for budget negotiations. As a result of the previous MFR-I edition (UPP I), a number of LGAs already developed disaggregated municipal databases (Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro).

UPP Partner NALAS presented the Regional Decentralization Observatory (RDO) that will focus on regional monitoring of the decentralization processes and delivery of public services in SEE as well as develop with partner institutions overall Methodology for SEE Decentralization Observatory. As stated by the NALAS expert: “The success of the annual NALAS’ Fiscal Decentralization Report, as well as the Solid Waste Benchmarking showed that knowing where each of the countries of the region is going in each of the dimensions of decentralization is very important, both for national policy-making, but also for peer pressure and learning from the best practices.” The local autonomy, quality of local public services, citizens’ participation and the role of Local Government Associations are among the dimensions NALAS aims to explore through the Observatory.

Innovative funding opportunities were presented during the two-day event, including crowdfunding campaigns, as an example of alternative financing for regional projects. Mayor of Pregrada presented successful crowdfunding experience “You and me together for the kindergarten” as a good practice from Croatia where the municipality managed to fundraise 121% of the targeted amount. “Except the financial part, crowdfunding is a great tool for testing and promoting good ideas”, said NALAS Knowledge and Communications Manager who presented crowdfunding campaign focusing on Balkan cuisine. “Our ongoing campaign promotes SEE municipalities as unique culinary destinations with rich cultural heritage.”

As part of the C2C Dialogue several panel discussions showcased success stories from the Region. Cities and municipalities of Banja Luka, Rijeka, Kisela Voda, Subotica, Strumica, Gjirokaster, Bar, Zenica, Pregrada, Zapresic, Novi Sad among others had an opportunity to share experiences with their peers from the Region and beyond in order to improve their management and planning.

City of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Hercegovina emphasized the usefulness of the MFSA tool for the improved City management, providing training opportunities for employees, development of databases, increasing transparency. In the city of Subotica, Serbia, MFSA analysis unleashed some weak areas in the process of municipal financial management including: need for improvements in strategic allocation of resources through budget planning aiming at achieving policy goals as well as predictability and control of budget execution with main focus on revenues. The city also went through PEFA assessment which indicated weaknesses in the area of budget based on public policies and reduced share of capital investments. The city focused on: improvements of budget process and following the budget calendar, realistic budget planning, improving capital investment planning, raising credit worthiness and improvements in revenue collection.

Given the progress made on the financial Municipal Improvement Action Plans several cities moved towards Capital Investment Planning (CIP).  CIP is recognized as a document of strategic importance that brings together the development strategy and the financial capabilities of the Local Government (LG). The final result of the strategic planning process is a list of potential capital projects that would be implemented in the future. Therefore, CIP draft relies on strategic documents such as: Development Strategy, Sustainable Development Action Plan, General Urban Development Plan, Spatial Plans, Environmental Action Plan, Housing Strategy etc. The CIP enables the LG to better use its budget capacities, define priorities, prepare project documents in a timely manner, and improve access to external sources of finance (loans, donor funds, ministries’ funds and programs, and private equity).  Throughout the discussion, UPP cities/municipalities shared their experiences in engaging in full-scale capital investment planning whose rules and procedures vary depending on the level of fiscal decentralization in their respective countries.

Last session of the workshop was dedicated to sharing experiences on Urban Audit by municipalities of Gazi Baba and Strumica from Macedonia and Kucova from Albania. For Strumica, Macedonia the Urban Audit fits very well with the new policy for social inclusion and fair society. It is a credible document that integrates databases from different administrative departments of Strumica. It allows for more structured participation and priorities setting for development of settlements in Strumica. The Urban Audit helped Municipality of Kucova, Albania improve coordination and cooperation of different administrative units of the local government. For Gazi Baba, Macedonia one of the things the Urban Audit supported was to establish better status definition across sectors and thus, once the status was defined it helped improve the municipal planning. It also well related to the anti-corruption “formula” to work better, i.e. more data=more transparency=more accountability=less corruption.

UPP will continue with the C2C Dialogues as they proved to be successful way of gathering the Region around the table and discuss achievements as well as current issues.


PHOTO GALLERY

 

Session 2 - Crowdfunding
CF Pregrada.pdf
NALAS Crowdfunding Experience.pdf

Session 3 - MFSA 2.0
MFSA 2.0.pdf
MFSA COUNTRY REPORT - Albania.pdf
MFSA COUNTRY REPORT, UPP CITIES MACEDONIA.pdf
MFSA synthesis report.pdf
Savez FBIH MFSA.pdf

Session 5 - MFSA country reports
City of Zapresic.pdf
City of Banja Luka Action Plan.pdf
City of Zenica.pdf
Pljevlja Municipality.pdf

Session 6 - Integrated Urban Planning through ToD
Introducing Integrated Urban Planning through ToD.pdf

Session 7 - Rijeka and Novi Sad, Cultural Capitals of Europe
Cultural infrastructure Novi Sad.pdf
Rijeka - European Capital of Culture.pdf

Session 8 - Urban development Lessons learned under Cohesion Policy in Romania
Urban development Lessons learned under Cohesion Policy in Romania.pdf

Session 9 - CIP
Capital Investment Plan.pdf

Session 10 - MFR
Municipal Finance Review II.pdf

Session 11 - NALAS Regional Decentralization Observatory
SEE Regional Decentralization Observatory.pdf

Session 12- MFSA Action Plans
City of Subotica Action Plan.pdf
Foca Municipality.pdf
Law on spatial planning and construction - Bar Municipality.pdf
MFSA_Municipality of Gjirokastër.pdf

Session 13 - UA
Measuring efficiency at local government level - Marjan Nikolov.pdf
Minicipality of Strumica - Urban Audit.pdf
Municipality of Gazi Baba Urban Audit Experience.pdf
Municipality of Kucove-Urban Audit.pdf

Session 14 - World Bank Creditworthiness initiative (CCI)

City Creditworthiness Initiative.pdf
Creditworthiness Initiative.pdf

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Workshops

Nis, Serbia, June 21-22 2018

Under the Urban Partnership Program, a first workshop on the topic of participatory planning/placemaking was held on June 21-22, 2018 in Niš for Serbia’s three largest cities Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš. Participants, mainly urban planners, architects, local economic development officers, young professionals/academics and Civil Society Organizations, including representatives from the local government association of Serbia and the Ministry of Construction, Infrastructure and Transport, joined together to learn about the potentials of placemaking, tactical urbanism, and people centered/participatory urban planning tools and techniques. The workshop was designed and delivered in collaboration with Roland Krebs and Kerstin Pluch, urban planners/academics from the Vienna University of Technology, Austria and superwien.

The workshop introduced the methodology of placemaking as a useful planning technique for activating public and central open spaces. Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. It is a creative platform to engage different stakeholders into the planning processes, gather ideas and involve citizens and local businesses in the collective development of urban projects.

The Serbian cities of Novi Sad, Belgrade and Niš all have rivers that dominate the urban landscape of these central areas. However, the public spaces around these rivers are not properly articulated in the urban fabric and have a huge potential that can be activated by the municipalities through a collaborative planning approach. The cities expressed great interest in developing the rivers and making more use of these public spaces, especially for walking, cycling, recreational activities and, in general, spending more free time in different spaces around river fronts.

On the first day of the workshop, the participants had the opportunity to hear about the planning process - the background, history, future, techniques, and to go through a casestudy of the city of Niš as a basis for the walk-on sessions that followed. During the working sessions, the participants were ready to put into action the principles of the Placemaking methodology and with the Walkshop mapping they identified the potentials and problems of the Nišava riverfront. During the second part of the day participants learned more about Urban Design lab and its tool-box, as well as different success stories from Vienna, Skopje, and cities from Latin America. In continuation of the case study, the participants developed a comprehensive SWOT analysis and engaged in Emotional mapping. An extensive list of opportunities and potential areas of development was created, as well as a very thorough Social cartography illustration of perception, with a detailed map of possible intervention areas.

During day two of the workshop, participants were introduced to several more interesting case studies and had the opportunity to continue with applying additional techniques to their case study. The integral scenario working session focused on using all the data gathered during day one and putting it into a vision for the Nišava riverfront. Lastly, the Role play session produced possible insights in potential stakeholders’ perspectives on different activation scenarios. It was very helpful and interesting to see how different stakeholders like students, retirees, small and large business owners, women and local architects may react to different outcomes and ideas for the riverfront space activation.

The workshop in Niš generated great interest and a demand for follow-ups from all three cities. The most useful and easily applicable parts for the participants were collective brainstorming and dialogue between different cities, idea and suggestion sharing among participants and innovative approaches. Concrete ideas were created during workshop such as development of an urban plan for removing the car market from the city center, solutions for urban mobility, and a more inclusive approach to urban planning. This is why UPP plans to continue with follow up workshops in Novi Sad and Belgrade that will not only focus on other cities and create further exchange, but will also bring into action additional placemaking concepts and techniques and participatory planning methods, and be more practical in form and focus on river activation and design, as well as implementation.


Documents:
Agenda Placemaking Workshop Nis, June 2018.doc
Urban Design Lab Handbook.pdf
WB_UPP_Placemaking Workshop_Nis_Summary Report.pdf
WB_UPP_Placemaking Workshop_Nis.pdf
WB_UPP_Placemaking Workshop_Nisava workshop SymbioCity Living Nis.pdf
WB_UPP_Placemaking Workshop_Nis_Presentation_Nisava workshop.pdf


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