The project known as Baladiya – New Paths in Urban Development addresses Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian experts in the field of urban development, experts dealing with urban development at conceptual, administrative, academic or political level (local authorities, ministries, architectural firms, urban planning offices, and universities). An additional target group comprises civil society representatives (neighbourhood associations, citizens’ action groups, and others).
The project enables participants comprehensively to exchange knowledge and experience – both amongst one another as well as with German counterparts.
As a result of societal transformations in North Africa, people’s lifestyles are facing new challenges and opportunities. How people in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia will live and work in the future will be mainly decided in the cities. Urban development thus has an important influence on societal conditions and on the success of changes which citizens and politicians wish to bring about.
The project Baladiya – New Paths in Urban Development has been initiated and financed by the Robert Bosch Stiftung; it is underpinned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as part of its CoMun programme. Implemented by the European Academy Berlin – in conjunction with partners – the project is enabling participating urban planners to develop their own projects and create transnational, practice-oriented networks.
The project courses span over two years and consist of a preparatory seminar (in North Africa), of modules in Germany lasting several weeks as well as a final seminar (in North Africa). All elements are held in French.
Seminar programmes comprise discussions, presentations, visits, field trips and competence training. Thematic focal points are decided upon in close consultation with participants. So far seminar programmes have included topics such as integrated planning, urban renewal and development, climate change, intergenerational equity, political participation also involving children and young people in urban planning, and urban mobility.
Seminars usually take place in Berlin, field trips so far organised have visited Frankfurt/Oder, Potsdam, Braunschweig, Wolfsburg, Görlitz, Leipzig, and Dresden. Additionally, as part of the programme, participants meet individually or in small groups with German colleagues for expertise exchange.
Within the framework of this programme, participants have an opportunity to get to know every-day professional life in a German municipality through individually organised one or two-week long shadowing placements.