Make a Mediterranean area of territories, towns and regions

Published : Sunday 02 May 2010


the exceptional heritage of Mediterranean territories is jeopardized by a number of issues that the region is having trouble controlling. These issues are threatening the potential for tourism and weakening the role that territories play in contemporary economic development. They are: rapid urbanization, excessive coastal development, destabilization of an often isolated rural world, climate change, the unsustainable rise in transport dominated by road transport, growing tourism competition in the world, sub-optimal international logistics that struggle to make the most of proximity, and the lack of local activity in areas disrupted by a modernization in which they play little part. France’s DATAR gives the same diagnosis in its Euro-Mediterranean project.

Mediterranean territories therefore make up both a cross-cutting domain involving the region’s agricultural, urban, rural, environmental, economic and social challenges; and a domain for unique potential cooperation that could have enormous long-term economic benefits.

Town and country planning should be promoted as an integrated policy in countries in the region and implemented by state authorities in association with civil society (users) and companies that contribute to territorial development. It could then mobilize infrastructure construction, town planning, architecture, rural development, innovation and clusters sustainably and efficiently. It could interlink local, urban, regional and international levels. The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) could be used to encourage the rise of local stakeholders, local development and “short circuits”. Moreover, there should be promotion of culture and foresight, anticipation and long-term planning.

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