UNESCO and Arab Towns Organisation join EIB’s Medina initiative

The European Investment Bank’s “Medinas 2030” Initiative on the regeneration of historic neighbourhoods has celebrated the addition of two new members, UNESCO’s World Heritage Programme and the Arab Towns Organisation (ATO), at a meeting in Marseille last week.
A press release said five Mediterranean countries – Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon – were represented at the highest level of the institutions responsible for regional and urban planning, as well as by urban developers and Arab heritage protection associations.
“Medinas 2030” was launched by the EIB at the Venice Architecture Biennale in October 2008. It aims to strengthen the public policies of the Mediterranean partner countries on the regeneration of ancient districts and city centres. In practice, this initiative works alongside the partner countries to facilitate medina rehabilitation projects that foster integrative urban strategies, a prerequisite for sustainable urban development and improved coordination between lenders, taking account of the financing requirements and the shortage of public funds.
Since September 2009, “Medinas 2030” has been housed by the Marseille Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and has formed one of the four programmes of the Centre's urban section.
The partnership agreement between the EIB and ATO, which was signed in Marseille on 9 December, has several aims, including the sharing of experience in the rehabilitation of ancient heritage centres in Arab cities; the training of developers and the creation of governance structures for such projects; and the promotion of new initiatives by the Arab towns that are members of the Organisation.
The partnership between the EIB and UNESCO is consistent with the World Programme Charter and will facilitate the attainment of the "Medinas 2030" objectives in two respects.  First, technical seminars will be held in the sites selected by "Medinas 2030” that are included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List: these seminars will focus on the methodologies and implementation of integrative urban strategies as well as levers for mobilising the private sector. Second, UNESCO intends to introduce, with the support of the International Financial Institutions, a Masters programme of further training in the field of urban renovation with a cultural dimension. (ENPI Info Centre)
Press release
˝Medinas 2030˝ exhibition - The Catalogue
EIB - website

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