Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

An Award for Environment Friendly Coastal Cities

Written by Christiane Navas, NICE on Tuesday, June 13th 2017 à 15:15 | Read 827 times


The Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award, launched by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, will be conferred for the first time in December 2017. The Award aims to support efforts made by Mediterranean coastal cities in the field of sustainable development.

(photo : F.Dubessy)
(photo : F.Dubessy)
More than a third of the Mediterranean's inhabitants live in coastal zones. This "coastalization" is accompanied by an increasing growth in population, which could reach 470 million in 2050 (from 290 million in 2005), including 300 million on the south and east coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Excessive land consumption, air pollution, inefficient waste management, and greater energy demands are increasing the environmental footprint of these coastal zones. That is why "Planning and managing sustainable Mediterranean cities" has been included as one of the six objectives of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD 2016-2025).

"Using an innovative spatial planning approach, the Mediterranean cities can become a driving force towards sustainable economic and social change", explains Plan Bleu programme officer Julien Le Tellier. However, this potential for innovation present in the cities remains poorly exploited. Consequently, at COP 19 in 2016, the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention decided to create an award to reward Mediterranean coastal cities' efforts for the environment, the Istanbul Environment Friendly City Award.

Application deadline 30th June

The biennial award, to be presented at COP 20 in December, 2017, aims to reward the investments made by coastal towns and cities in improving the environment and promoting sustainable development. The ultimate objective is to encourage Mediterranean cities to go further, to shine a spotlight on them so they act as an inspiration for other cities and to make the general public more aware of urban issues and the quality of the environment. The award is open to any Mediterranean coastal city in the 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean on the strict condition that it be "a coastal city in harmony with the sea, utilizing its resources efficiently, equitably and sustainably, reducing its impact on marine and coastal environment and climate change, and managing the environment for the benefit of current and future generations".

Applications will be evaluated through four criteria: Nature and Biodiversity Protection; Built Environment; Social, Economic and Cultural Sustainability; Governance. In addition to these criteria, the historical perspective of the candidate city will also be considered; the improvements observed in the city are important regarding the city’s efforts towards sustainability, the progress achieved as compared with its past, as well as the city’s efforts and perspectives for further future improvement. In addition, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate their partnerships with NGOs, the scientific community, the private sector or other stakeholders for the submission. The closing date for application is June 30th.

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