Local & Urban Development in Syria
Syria is committed to Decentralisation. It is revising Syrian laws to give regional and local governments more political, financial and administrative responsibilities. Through Syria's 10th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), local authorities gained wide-ranging responsibilities such as:
- Implementation of national strategic projects and vital infrastructure
- Implementation of national programmes (e.g. for employment, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, and elimination of illiteracy)
- Local participation in formulating and implementing local development plans
- Involvement of representatives of the private sector, banking sector and civil society in local development projects, and
- Improvement of inter-governorate cooperation in the context of regional plans.
The rapid growth of Syria's private economy, changes in the employment structure and steadily increasing urbanisation have led to new urban needs, in particular in the fields of housing, transport, water and energy. Urban development in Syria faces the particular challenge of combining the development of modern facilities with the preservation and valorisation of ancient areas.
The European Union is supporting the Syrian central and local authorities in their efforts to improve local governance and administration, management of urban growth and delivery of key municipal services to Syrian citizens.
The Decentralisation and Local Development Programme (MAMII) will consolidate and expand the achievements of the Municipal Administration Modernisation Programme (MAM I). MAM I supported first steps in decentralisation. It helped improve local governance and administration and key municipal services, made key policy proposals and built capacities for planning and management of urban growth. The Decentralisation and Local Development Programme (MAM II) will further boost municipal modernisation and capacities in planning, managing and maintenance of public investments. By encouraging an enabling environment for local development and governance, MAM II will also enable Syrian citizens' access to quality services.
Through the Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue (CIUDAD) initiative, the EU is also supporting Syria, Jordan and Turkey in the project, "Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning Adapted to the Mediterranean (SUMPA- MED)". In Aleppo, Syria, it is helping to develop environmentally friendly vehicles to reduce the impact of increased mobility.
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