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National Urban Policies and Strategies

Title of the Session

National Urban Policies and Strategies

Time and Venue

14 June 2015, Marriott Hotel Zamalek – 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Introduction

A National Urban Policy (NUP) is a deliberate government-led process of coordinating and rallying various state and non-state actors for an envisioned set of urbanization strategies and courses of action in a set period. The Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, in its resolution 24/5 encourages governments to initiate processes to review, strengthen and develop national urban policies as a key strategy for national socio-economic development, to maximize the national and local benefits of urbanization, while mitigating potential adverse externalities, as well as a coordinating mechanisms amongst different sectors and ministries. As such, a NUP aims at curbing undesirable problems of spatial inequalities and socio-economic disparities between a country’s regions.
Lessons learned from the international experience suggest that a progressive NUP should promote inclusive national urban policies that assert urban space and territoriality. Such NUP seeks to strengthen the link between urbanization and socio-economic development and environmental sustainability by guiding the urbanization process towards a balanced system of cities, balanced and well dispersed urban system and network, whereas most of its cities are compact, connected, integrated and inclusive.

The Egyptian government is currently engaging in a joint exercise with UN-Habitat to explore the importance of developing a new National Urban Policy in Egypt, and how it could engage with various actors at multiple levels of society to formulate and implement well designed policies that benefit from the rapid urbanization taking place in Egypt, and minimize the externalities that are associated with urbanization in the developing countries.

The aim of the Panel is to discuss:

  • What are the key lessons learned from the development of a National Urban Policy, with reference to international experience as well as the NUP developed in 1982?
  • Why do we need a new NUP?
  • What should be the objectives of the new NUP and the key dimensions it should tackle?
  • How can the new NUP overcome key challenges that hinder policy implementation?
  • Who should participate in the development of the NUP?
  • To what extent can a new NUP address the legal and policy frameworks related to informal development?

Moderator: Dr. Mohamed Salheen – Faculty of Engineering, Ain Shams University

Panelists:

Presenters:

Dr. Mohamad Nada – Program Manager and Advisor on Decentralization Urban Policies, Governance and Legislations Program, UN-Habitat

Prof. Ahmed Yousry – Faculty of Urban and Regional Planning, Cairo University

Discussants:

Dr. Assem Elgazzar – Chairman, General Organization For Physical Planning

Dr. Laila Iskandar – Minister of State, Ministry of State of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements

Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT

Prof. Aly El Sawy – Faculty of Economic and Political Science, Cairo University