Partnerships for Sustainable Cities (2022-2024)
'Partnerships for Sustainable Cities' is an EU-funded project that promotes integrated urban development by fostering peer-to-peer exchanges among Local Authorities of EU Member States and countries in the Global South around shared challenges. ECDPM's Jean Bossuyt is leading the project's coordination facility team.
About the project
Local authorities are key actors of development in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. About 65% of the 169 targets underlying the 17 SDGs will not be reached without engagement of local and regional governments.
Rapid urbanisation process is one of the most important transformations of the 21st century. Today, more than half of the world’s population already lives in cities while this share should reach 85% by 322100. The challenges induced by rapid urbanisation are multiple: poverty eradication, pollution, water security, climate change, conflict, forced displacement and migration. Tackling these global challenges and reaching the SDGs will depend crucially on whether cities “get urbanisation right”.
In response, the European Commission mobilised funding to support actions promoting partnerships for sustainable cities between European and partner countries' local authorities. Three calls for proposals were launched over the past few years leading to 57 approved projects in 35 countries.
Beyond providing funding for demand-driven activities of the various partnerships, the program also seeks to promote joint learning among all actors involved (i.e. the cities, local constituencies, EU Delegations as well as various units of the Commission at headquarters levels) and use the lessons learnt in the process to shape future EU policies and practices towards cities (in close dialogue with other key stakeholders such as the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions).
A city-to-city platform was developed so that the cities involved in the project can share the experiences, results, lessons learnt and challenges of these 57 projects. Ensuring this inter-city dialogue means that these partnerships – acting as laboratories for finding innovative solutions – can inform EU policies and approaches to engaging with cities and local municipalities in external action and development cooperation.See here the Partnerships for sustainable cities platform
First global meeting of the Partnerships for Sustainable Cities
In March 2023, representatives from these 57 partnerships and a wide range of relevant EU actors came together in Brussels to meet for the first time since the project launched.
Objectives of the global meeting
To inform participants about evolving EU policies and practices towards cities (and the place therein of the decentralised cooperation as an aid modality).
To build linkages and develop synergies between participating cities, including by the adoption of shared tools for communication and monitoring and evaluation
To jointly capitalise on experiences and lessons learnt during the implementation of the programme so far.
To foster dialogue between participating cities and a wide range of EU stakeholders on how to strengthen mutually beneficial partnership relations.