Municipalities on a journey to re-imagine their futures

Municipalities on a journey to re-imagine their futures

July 29, 2022

A regional Show & Tell event this week brought together 300 local self-government entities from the Eastern Partnership countries to discuss ways to overcome the growing challenges facing the region and to share knowledge about building sustainable systems and livelihoods.

Participants of the event, which took place in the Georgian city of Kutaisi on 28 July, represented municipalities united in the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility, a regional initiative supported by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

Representatives of 56 municipalities attended in person, while municipalities from Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine joined the event online.

The Show & Tell meeting offered experience-sharing opportunity, with 13 municipalities presenting their workon designing ‘municipal transformation portfolios’ and applying ‘urban imaginaries’, two innovative approaches supported by the robust grant programmes designed to promote initiatives that seek to reimagine or reinvent key aspects of local living.

Among the cities presenting their experience, the Armenian city of Areni focused on sustainable tourism, while Batumi in Georgia is pursuing the concept of a start-up ecosystem that contributes to a renewed urban identity and encourages a culture of entrepreneurship. Another Georgian city, Kutaisi, explores a smart eco-city model to support the municipality in transitioning towards green and sustainable life, using nature-based urban innovation. Ceadîr-Lunga in Moldova is creating a resilient, inclusive and sustainable energy system in the municipality, designing new avenues for diversifying energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, and providing individual households with low-cost energy solutions.

Nine municipalities selected for the ‘urban imaginaries’ programme, shared their achievements in improving public transport, economic and infrastructure development and waste management. Representatives of the Association of Ukrainian Cities spoke about their experience managing cities during the unfolding crisis.

“Alongside the developmental, economic and climate-related challenges, some of the cities across the region carry an additional burden caused by the humanitarian and refugee crisis that followed the Ukraine war. Innovative and sustainable solutions can assist the cities to resolve pending issues while maintaining operational systems,” said Colombe de Mercey, Team Leader of Governance and Human Capital at the European Union Delegation to Georgia

The M4EG Facility draws on the Mayors for Economic Growth Initiative, launched and funded by the European Union in 2017. Starting from 2021, the M4EG Facility has been managed by UNDP in close cooperation with the EU, local authorities, and a range of partners.

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