19-20 February 2014, Algiers, Algeria - In the framework of the national day of cities, the Algerian Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Cities, with the support of UNITAR, organized a two-day conference in Algiers to further discuss the stakes and challenges of new cities, under the High Patronage of His Excellency the President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, H.E. Mr. Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Mr. Jean-Claude Tourret (standing), Director of the Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories to Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune (seating, in the middle)Universal urbanization soar, combined with a high demographic growth in Algeria has made it a priority for national authorities to urgently find solutions for integrated and sustainable urban development across the country – and in the city of Algiers in particular. As a matter of fact, as emphasized by the Minister of Habitat, Urbanism and Cities, H.E. Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune, during his opening address, the national strategy in this respect articulates around 3 main lines: besides the establishment of city policies allowing for efficient integrated management of cities, other priority objectives include the improvement of the citizens’ living environment through the rejuvenation of existing cities, and the creation of new cities as a tool to control urban growth and urban sprawl.

After the plenary session also looked into the “lessons from the future” whereby Mr. Jean Robert Mazeaud (CEO of S’PACE Architecture) and Mr. Gilles Mosca (Deputy Director of Energy8, a Geneva-based company specialized in renewable energy generation and energy optimization projects) shared their experience and vision, the 370 conference participants were given the opportunity to break into three working groups with different angles: “New Cities and Urban Sprawl”, “New Technologies for New Sustainable Cities”, and “Management, Dashboard and Marketing of New Cities”.

Each workshop allowed for further exchange of best practices and experiences among national practitioners (representatives of the government, local authorities, academia, the private sector and other urban development practitioners) and international experts mobilized by UNITAR and the R20 - Regions of Climate Action, a non-profit organization. Recommendations resulting from the discussions and debates of the three workshops were presented to the Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Cities at the end of the conference, and should contribute to feed the next law on urban management, currently under preparation, which shall provide tools and means for a more efficient and faster implementation of city policies.

Photo : End-of-workshops recommendations being presented by Mr. Jean-Claude Tourret (standing), Director of the Agency for Sustainable Mediterranean Cities and Territories to Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune (seating, in the middle), the Algerian Minister of Habitat, Urbanism and  Cities.

For further information, please email UNITAR’s Decentralized Cooperation Programme at dcp@unitar.org.