Connective Cities
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT
NEWSLETTER - EDITION No. 34, December 2020

Dear readers,

The year 2020 has presented enormous challenges to all cities around the world. In the Covid-19 pandemic, cities have been, and continue to be, at the forefront of the fight against the infection on the ground, maintaining services for citizens and limiting the local economic impact. At the same time, the number of challenges that concerned cities before the Covid-19 pandemic have not diminished: climate crisis, social division, growing urbanisation. The year 2020 has made it clear: integrated, participatory and resilient urban development for all is more important than ever.

The international exchange of experiences between municipal practitioners worldwide was strongly influenced by current events: none of the Connective Cities activities that had been planned for the year 2020 at the beginning of the year finally took place as envisioned. All face-to-face events were rescheduled, redesigned and adapted into virtual formats. Furthermore, with the “Covid-19 Municipal Response Dialogues”, additional exchange opportunities on local crisis response were launched from June onwards.

The last few weeks have once again shown how great the need for cities to learn from each other is. New thematic learning processes were launched on the topics of municipal water asset management and sustainable land use planning. The Covid-19 Municipal Response Dialogues, the virtual week, the regional events and the closing event of the series for the year 2020 made it very clear how much cities worldwide can and want to learn from each other. The Covid-19 Municipal Response Dialogues showcased 115 good practices and actively engaged 800 municipal professionals from around the world.

Thank you very much for all your contributions and your active participation in the Connective Cities exchanges in 2020.

Best regards,

Your Connective Cities Team

Review
International municipal practitioners are engaging in the informal waste sector of the Kosovar City of Mitrovica
Connective Cities Virtual Exchange of Expertise, September - November 2020.

The establishment of an organization for informal waste collectors in the city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, was the focus of the discussion with experts from Germany, Belo Horizonte in Brazil and Quito in Ecuador. The diverse perspectives of the participants enriched the virtual exchange and consultation among colleagues.

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Local Economic Development and Job Creation in the Middle East and North Africa
Connective Cities Dialogue Event, October 2020.

Local economic development (LED) remains a top priority for cities in MENA and a driver for economic stability and job creation for a region with one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. More than 40 local urban practitioners from 22 municipalities and 10 countries from the MENA region and Germany took part in the virtual dialogue event organized by Connective Cities. Strategic planning for local economic development, promoting sustainable opportunities for livelihoods and social entrepreneurship, job creation through public investment in green infrastructure and the circular economy were core themes of the exchange of experiences.

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Climate Resilient Urban Development in Southeast Europe
Connective Cities Virtual Project Planning Workshop, October 26 - November 6, 2020.

Around 30 urban practitioners from 11 Southeast European cities met virtually to exchange their experiences and expertise in the field of urban mobility and green urban infrastructure. The objective of the workshop was to jointly develop comprehensive project plans that can serve as a basis for technical and financial funding proposals. The strategic approaches of the project ideas were collaboratively revised and resulted in concrete action planning.

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Sustainable and resilient, regional and intermunicipal land management
Connective Cities virtual dialogue event in cooperation with the city of Trier, November 18 - November 20, 2020.

Resilience and the three sustainability dimensions of "ecologically sound," "economically successful," and "socially just" remain a constant focus in municipal land management projects. During the three-day Connective Cities online event, 30 municipal practitioners from 14 cities, 7 countries and three continents intensively exchanged their experiences  and developed joint approaches and project ideas.

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International exchange of experiences: lessons learned in the Covid-19 crisis
The Connective Cities series "Municipal Response to COVID-19" successfully concluded on December 9, 2020.

In more than 35 virtual events, Connective Cities brought together more than 800 municipal experts between July and December 2020 to share solutions for local approaches in dealing with the pandemic. The topics ranged from crisis management, culture and education, digitalisation and economic development to solidarity, social cohesion and urban resilience. The Connective Cities team thanks all participants for the lively discussions and valuable contributions, which were a great inspiration for our community of urban practitioners.

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Insights
Good Practices
Local Development Program for the City of Agadir in Morocco
Green economic transformation and climate-responsive urban development

Agadir is becoming eco-friendly! The Moroccan city has already earned several awards for its sustainable development approach. To achieve the goals of a smart, inclusive, gender equitable and sustainable city, the municipality has established an effective and participatory institutional framework.

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From Berlin to Jakarta
Smart city partnership: integrated expert Kariem El-Ali is driving digital transformation forward

Berlin is the vibrant epicenter of the German startup scene. Jakarta has embarked on becoming a smart city 4.0 with intelligent concepts for mobility, housing, environmental management and governance. The two cities plan to collaborate more and learn from each other. Kariem El-Ali from Berlin works as an expert for the Berlin-Jakarta city partnership.

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Closed pilot cycle of plastic recycling in Rustavi
Tackling the plastic waste management challenge in Georgia

In the Georgian city of Rustavi, a closed-loop pilot cycle for recycling plastic waste was established and launched in 2019, involving municipal kindergartens and public schools. In this process, the city administration, the Rustavi Innovations Hub and other partners successfully collaborated. They have been supported by UNDP Georgia.

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Outlook
Call for Participants: Local Economic Development and Job Creation in MENA
Connective Cities Virtual Project Workshop, January 19 - January 25, 2021

Six project ideas from a previous event are to be further developed during this workshop by revising strategic approaches with the support of relevant regional and international experts. We are looking for LED experts from Germany and the MENA region who can contribute with their expertise.

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2021?
building back better.

We do not want to end the year 2020 without a little preview of what we have to offer in 2021. 'Urban gardening', 'energy efficient building', 'sustainable mobility' and 'local economic development in MENA' are just some of the topics that will be on the agenda in the upcoming year. The Covid-19 Municipal Response Dialogues will continue, intensify and focus more on ways to get out of the crisis by building back better.

Thank you very much again, for all your contributions and your active participation in the Connective Cities exchanges in 2020. We wish you all the best for the New Year and, above all, to stay healthy.

Best regards,

Your Connective Cities Team

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