Building. Forward. Better

Where we come from - where we are - where we are going. Resumés of the regional coordinators of Connective Cities

Photo: Maria Savenko | Shutterstock

We look back on an eventful year. Hopes of getting the Corona pandemic under control quickly fizzled out. The World Climate Conference cast its shadow ahead, only to end with a mediocre result. Despite, or perhaps because of, these setbacks, experts at the municipal level intensified their cooperation to better meet the challenges of the pandemic and climate change. Our networks expanded, project proposals became more concrete, working groups more agile, and some "champion municipalities" are themselves doing much to move the networks forward. It is time to pause for a moment, look back and dare to look forward to the future. Our coordinators of the regional networks in South Eastern Europe, the MENA region and Sub-Saharan Africa describe this from their own personal perspective.

The Future of the Southeast Europe Region - by Irakli Samkharadze and Elene Samukashvili

As the year comes to a close Connective Cities Southeast European Region celebrates achievements of every concurrent Learning and Peer-exchange processes held with the support of urban practitioners, experts, consultancies and technical personnel from all over the world.

Activities under Learning Processes on Climate Resilient Urban Development and Sustainable Urban Energy Planning, underway in SEE region will continue into the upcoming year with an updated roadmap. We will proceed with expert missions, financial advisory and project proposals polishing support, in close synergy with financial institutions. This support will be provided for projects identified through Dialogue Events and Planning Workshops held in past two years.

In 2021 under Connective Cities COVID-19 Programme, Southeast European Region (SEE) gathered amazing and motivated professionals from all over the region who worked in two directions of Crisis Management and Digitalisation. As of new year, Programme Teams aims to maintain the close contact with the groups, through the Network, providing them with further news, updates and guidance.

As the network of the region is constantly expanding, planned activities are also amplifying and growing in their directions and frequency. 2022 promises to be a very active and highly engaging time for the network. Our topics include but are not limited to Sustainable Urban Development, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Urban Planning, Green Technologies, Infrastructure and recovery, Crisis management & Digitalisation, while also constantly looking into new directions according to preferences of Network Members and political Developments in the region.

Kontakt: Irakli Samkharadze (irakli.samkharadze(at)

Sub-Saharan Africa - an outlook to 2022 - by Sophia Kamau

We have braved another year of virtual learning, networking and finding solutions to our urban challenges. Thank you for being part of this journey by sharing good practices, challenges, contacts and expertise.

We look over the skies into the endless opportunities that time gives and envision 2022. Based on the networks built, relationships established, and ideas exchanged, we would like to share our thoughts with you as we get into a reflective season.

In 2022 we will finalize the learning processes on urban basic services and sector governance and land management and land use planning. This will be through support to municipalities working on their proposals and those seeking expertise support. Through partnerships with like-minded institutions, we will have more opportunities to learn and exchange through the thematic working groups; solid waste management, urban green spaces, climate change and urban mobility.

We welcome you to join this community of transformers in the region.

From the Sub Saharan Africa desk, we appreciate your cooperation and wish you happy holidays!

Contacts: Sophia Kamau (sophia.kamau(at)

Connective Cities in the MENA region: Champion Cities taking ownership of the network in 2022 - by Muna Shalan

Over the past year, the vibrant network of Connective Cities in the MENA region has grown and has intensified its activities: we are now at 235 registered members! To sustain the momentum and ensure the sustainability of the network, champion cities will take the lead in steering the activities of the different thematic working groups starting next year. This will include peer learning, good practice presentation and joint proposal development. Upon showcasing the outcomes of the activities in the planned regional event in January 2022, the network members will be able to nominate themselves or vote for the steering committee of the regional working groups that include local economic development and job creation, municipal energy efficiency projects, biodiversity and environmental protection, digitalisation of municipal services, social entrepreneurship and circular economy.

We are also looking forward for new partnerships with regional city associations in 2022. This includes our recently signed MoU with UCLG MEWA to strengthen decentralised regional cooperation.

Contact: Muna Shalan (muna.shalan(at) )

Connective Cities