In the framework of the “Municipal know-how for host communities in the Middle-East programme”, the international community of practice Connective Cities and its initiators, the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the German Association of Cities (DST) and Engagement Global gGmbH / Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW), organized an International Dialogue Event on “Strengthening Local Economic Development” in Lebanon, that was held in Beirut on October 24-26, 2017. The workshop addressed urban practitioners from Lebanon and Germany to share good practices and learn from each other.
Given the impacts of economic globalisation on local development worldwide, local governments play a crucial role in enabling more sustainable growth of urban areas. Local Economic Development (LED) is particularly important when it comes to strengthening the capacity of individual cities and regions to foster their resilience under the pressure of growing global competition. The LED approach encourages establishment of multi-actor partnerships and ensures joint development of local solutions to the existing economic challenges. Through multi-stakeholder dialogues as well as thorough analyses of current economic situations and conditions of public services and infrastructure at local level, LED helps identify concrete development opportunities and create competitive business locations at local level. This consequently can lead to a reduction in poverty as well as geographic disparities and enable sustainable economic growth.
The dialogue event was geared specifically towards supporting the analysis and planning of local economic development based on good practices up to the formulation of ideas for local projects to foster the local economy. Discussion of good practices that are relevant to the local urban context in Lebanon followed by peer-to-peer advice on actual challenges in a creative and interactive workshop environment constituted the main features of the event.
Subjects of exchange comprised
Dr. Manfred Poppe, Connective Cities
Wencke Müller, Engagement Global/SKEW
The Service Agency Communities in One Wolrd and its Middle East Programme
Thomas Lilienthal, Municipality of Rheinsberg, Germany
Strategies on changing a commercial park into a sustainability
Georges Krikorian, Bourj Hamoud municipal council, Lebanon
Kariné Balian, Local development agent, Bourj Hamoud, Lebanon
Revitalization of the Marache Road
Philippe Mehlem, Zahlé municipal council, Lebanon
Tourism Development Project - Project to expand the tourist area around the Bardawni River
Camille El Hage, Rmeich municipal council, Lebanon
Petra Thieme, LED Project Development
"New Trail Job"
Maan Khalil & Yussef Arabi, Municipality of Ghobayre, Lebanon
Improvement of the production conditions for traders
Ali Fawaz, Union of Municipalities of Al Qalaa, Lebanon
Development of the tourism sector with the rehabilitation of the citadel of Tibnine
Ghassan Tayoun, Zgharta/Ehden municipal council, Lebanon
Rehabilitation and revitalization of the Rachine watershed
Amer Makhoul, Halba municipal council, Lebanon
Creation of a fruit and vegetable market
Dr. Karl-Georg Steffens, Local Economic Development Agency, Municipality of Hamm, Germany
Enabling Infrastructure for Innovations
Rachid Otaki, Union of Municipalities of Kesrouan Ftouh, Lebanon
Ecotourism project of the Wadi el Salib Valley
Yahya Bou Karoum, Union of Municipalities of Chouf Soueijani, Lebanon
Shouf - Soueijani Showroom for local and Agricultural Products
Andreas Muendl, Bremer Aufbau-Bank GmbH, Bremen, Germany
Supporting Innovative Startups
Georges Youssef, Municipality of Menjez, Lebanon
Assisting reforestation and local development activities in partnership with local communities
Khalil Harfouche, Union of Municipalities of Jezzine, Lebanon
Strategic Development Plan for Jezzine
Ahmad Rajab, Ministry of Interior and Municipailities
Establishment of PPP according to Lebanese Municipal Law
Wencke Müller, Engagement Global/ SKEW
Support mechanisms for municipal project partnerships
Based on the exchange formats, discussions as well as site-visits and peer-to-peer advice the participating cities elaborated initial project ideas that are likely to impact on local economic development in municipalities.
In the framework of the action planning session specific project ideas emerged: A business incubation centre was defined for the Municipality of Menjez. The Municipality of Ghobeiry concentrated on establishing a trade committee whereas others aimed to develop an Innovation Centre related to agricultural produce, and a Product Exhibition Centre.
The project ideas do not yet constitute any prioritisation, and other municipalities are invited to contribute their ideas. Connective Cities will strive to provide further support for the development of concrete project proposals and also provide required know how to assist with the implementation process.
Connective Cities Practitioners' Workshop
24 - 26 October 2017 in Beirut, Lebanon
[pdf, 16 pages, 2.23mb, English]