The Mediterranean region is in the middle of a strong spatial transformation linked to population growth, widespread urbanisation and deep socio-economic changes. This transformation is particularly evident in cities. In a context characterised by the disengagement of the State and weak local finances, the Mediterranean towns are or will be faced with the management of the contradictory goals. On the one hand they strive for achieving integration in a globalising economy, whereas on the other they have to cope with the growing difficulties to meet the needs of the local population, and to manage sustainable urban environment,in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (in particular the SGD11). In this regard, local authorities bring unique added value to sustainable development in the region. They are key to mobilizing different stakeholders to collaborate, thus generating cooperative approaches for pursuing common development goals. Due to their proximity and territorial presence, as well as knowledge of local needs, local authorities can participate greatly in maximising the effects of development assistance by bilateral and multilateral donor institutions. However, local capacities for decision-making and management are generally limited due to a limited transfer of resources and a lack of an effective multi-level governance system.
The seminar will explore the role of local authorities in improving the liveability of Mediterrean urban areas, focusing on youth as a key driver for stability in the region.