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City to City Dialogue on "Guided Urban Land Development: Reconciling Public and Private Interests"

Categories: City-to-City, News | Author: Monika Kresic | Posted: 6/23/2016 | Views: 3286
November 4-7, 2012

On November 4-7, 2012, City to City Dialogue on "Guided Urban Land Development: Reconciling Public and Private Interests" was held in Budva, Montenegro. This workshop brought together heads of municipal financial departments, urban planners, private real estate developers and non-government organizations, for constructive cross-disciplinary and cross-agency dialogue on how to guide urban development in SEE.  The workshop was attended by over 100 participants from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.  The audience included delegates from the Local Government Associations, over 20 partner cities, local and regional experts, representatives of private real estate industry, delegates from central government agencies and institutions from some of the participating countries, and a representative from the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED), Serbia. The workshop was designed and delivered in a participatory manner. 

This was the fourth C2C Dialogue organized as part of the WB-Austria Urban Partnership Program.  The C2C discussion was centered on one of the central challenges of guided urban development: how to balance and reconcile public and private interests and enhance the collaboration between city planners, financial departments, private operators, and civil society in the process of urban development.  The workshop discussion focused on: (1) the implications of land use policies and land based fiscal instruments on land development and municipal revenues, and on (2) the linkage between the financial capacity of the municipalities and their ability to finance recurrent day-to day maintenance and capital investments and shape the cities of tomorrow.

Participating municipalities shared findings from their Municipal Finances Self-Assessment (MFSA) process carried out in the past year. Twenty three municipalities are currently participating and new ones are joining in. All of them reinforced their interest in the MFSA because they acquired a better understanding of their own financial situation and saw the process as an opportunity to map out where they are and where they want to be in the future.  The key points highlighted during the session include: diversity of urban profiles and investment challenges facing the cities and municipalities in SEE, impact on municipal finance and capacity to self-finance capital investment budget, and weak investment capacity due to the 2008 financial crisis, among other factors.

Panel sessions and discussions were complimented with the site visit to Budva municipality where participants had an opportunity to discuss different issues with representatives of Urban Planning, Finance and Investment department as well as Chief of Cabinet of Budva.

Participants also discussed the newly designed Urban Planning and Land Management Self-Assessment template.  The next steps would consist in continuing the work on Self-Assessments, some of which will be presented at the Mayors Dialogue in January 2013 in Vienna.

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Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Cities

Worldwide, local governments face an increasing demand from the growing urban population to provide basic infrastructure and services, promote more inclusive growth, adapt to climate change, and mitigate risks from disasters. Although development pathways differ because of regional and local variations, one consistent pattern has emerged: economic prosperity most often occurs in cities.

Cities can reduce poverty and expand individual and national prosperity. The bulk of economic activities take place in cities; urban centers attract business, trade and other service industries, and offer dense labor markets with the ability to move products over smaller distances, shortening the supply chain. However, cities in South-East Europe (SEE) do not yet harvest their full potential to contribute to economic prosperity and deliver better quality of life for their citizens. They face a number of challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, increasing global competition and financial instability. At the same time, cities have room for improvement: they can use their own resources more efficiently and also possess a huge potential for energy efficiency.

In order to address these challenges the World Bank and Government of Austria have partnered to launch the Urban Partnership Program (UPP) aimed to strengthen the capacity of local governments in South-East Europe, to promote city to city exchange and peer learning within and beyond Europe and to equip local elected officials, city administrators and technical staff with practical tools for decision-making, to effectively manage urban development for inclusive and sustainable growth. While global in scope, this Program is targeted at South-East Europe, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. 

The Program is structured into three product lines to reflect the demand: E-learning & Knowledge products: Global curriculum through World Bank Open Learning Campus and Regional/local Partners: NALAS (E-Academy), LGAs; Connectivity through City to City Dialogues on Municipal Finance, Urban Planning & Land Management; and Sustainability through In depth city engagement, including self-assessment tools (Municipal Finance Self-Assessment and Urban Audit) and participatory methodologies (Integrity Building and Social Sustainability & Citizen Engagement). 

Where We Work in South-East Europe (Phase I)

 

 

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"The MFSA tool is very useful and can help LGs assess their financial performance and look for additional financing. On the other hand, it is a huge responsibility to translate the budget into strategies that will drive LG's development",
Reisa Duraj, Head of Finance and Treasure Relations Sector of the Shkoder Municipality, Albania

"This capacity building program will enhance knowledge and skills of local governments, particularly of medium and large cities."


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