The Committee to participate in the II World Forum of Local Economic Development

Following the commitment acquired by the presidency of the committee of boosting synergies with other UCLG committees and working groups, the City of Bilbao will take part in the II World Forum of Local Economic Development organized by UCLG´s Working Group on Local Economic Development and UNDP.

From the committee the development of "smart" local economies it´s been promoted, through the impulse of innovation, the support to entrepreneurship, the creation, retention and attraction of talent and the development of sectors of economic activity linked to new technologies, research and development in the territories.

With this vision the City of Bilbao will present its experience, in the II World Forum of Local Economic Development that will take place from October 29th to November 1st in Foz de Iguazu, Brazil.

The City of Bilbao will take part in the session "Key factors of Urban Governance for LED" to be held on October 31st.

For further information visit:


The Committee commits with the “City learning program” in Rabat

On October 1st, 2013 in Rabat we held the joint meeting between the Committees on Digital and Knowledge-based Cities and Urban Strategic Planning with the main objective of reinforcing the "Cities learning program" among both committees, but also to define the role and actions that the committees and UCLG must pursue to go forward in the development of the leaning agenda.

The meeting was attended by more than 60 representatives from cities, associations of local authorities and organizations from all over the world.

During the meeting, the attendants, not only had the opportunity to learn about some learning experiences already in place, but also to discuss and help to define the cities´ learning needs and demands.

You may access the meeting report in the following link:

Joint meeting report in Rabat

The following actions were agreed and will take place in the coming months:

Intermediary cities: Support communication between stakeholders, finalize the frame document and enrich it with some case studies, support peer learning and lobby in European instances and platforms. 

UN guidelines on Urban and territorial planning: support UN process with expertise, based on the recommendation of the UCLG policy paper on strategic planning; emphasize the local leadership in all planning process.

City to city learning: follow up and support partnerships to surge and monitor existing groups and document results. Coherence with committees and UCLG initiatives in order to position the demand driven agenda of local governments.

Presidency: promoting Durban, Porto Alegre and Bilbao chairs to lead, represent, propose on behalf of UCLG lobbying in events, in UCLG and international meetings.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat of the Committee:

The City of Bilbao becomes a member of UCLG World Council

During the IV UCLG World Congress held in Rabat the government bodies of the organization were renewed.

In October 3rd, 2013, in the African City of Rabat, the UCLG General Assembly ratified the designation of the City of Bilbao as member of UCLG World Council for the period 2013-2016, occupying one of the 8 seats designated in the World Council to UCLG direct members of the European Section.

Until date, the City of Bilbao occupied the position of substitute in the World Council.

Ms. Ibone Bengoetxea, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao and President of the Basque Association of Municipalities (EUDEL) took part in the General Assembly meeting for the designation, as representative of the City.

The City of Bilbao has been collaborating with UCLG since its foundation, as President of the Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities and also as an active member in the activities, boosted from UCLG. The designation of Bilbao as member of the World Council ratifies the commitment of the City with UCLG.

Additionally, during the meeting of the UCLG World Council in Rabat, a process for the election of the new Presidency of UCLG for the period 2013-2016 took place.

Kadir Topbaş, Mayor of Istanbul (Turkey) was reelected President of the organization.

The following co-presidents were elected:

  • Augusto Barrera, Mayor of Quito (Ecuador),
  • Anne Hidalgo, First deputy Mayor at the Town Hall of Paris (France)
  • Chen Jianhua, Mayor of Guangzhou (China),
  • Alain Juppé, President of the French Association of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (AFCCRE), Mayor of Bordeaux (France) and Vice-president of the Committee of Digital and Knowledge-based Cities.
  • Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan (Russia) was re-elected co-president
  • Jacqueline Moustache Belle, President of the Association of Districts of Victoria (Seychelles), Mayor of Victoria
  • Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat (Morocco) was elected as treasurer for UCLG.
  • Berry Vrbanovic, Emeritus President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), Councilor of Kitchener was nominated deputy treasurer.

Nine Vice-Presidents representing all the regions of the world were also elected. The Assembly General of UCLG welcomed the creation of a new section for the Regions that will be led by ORU-FOGAR.

More information:

Walking the talk: Creating people-centred cities: a turning point in Rabat?

At the first side event at the UCLG Congress organized by the UCLG Urban Strategic Planning, the Committee on mobility and digital and knowledge-based cities, and the City of  Rabat´s Planning Department, history was made when Walk 21, an international NGO conducted its first walking audit in Africa. The mandate of Walk 21 of creating a culture and community where people choose to walk, is aligned with city strategies to promote walking and its interface with public transportation and is also consistent with the UCLG vision of  more integrated, sustainable and just cities.

In the morning seminar held on October 1st before the walking audit, participants learnt that two-thirds of the entire city population in Rabat uses walking as a mode of transport and great efforts have been made by the city leadership to promote walking. Interestingly it was also discovered that 63 percent of all internal trips in Bilbao today consist of walking. Bilbao´s successes was achieved by a strong policy framework to promote a more  human scale of development. Inspired by these insights from political leadership, we then conducted the walking audit in downtown Rabat. This experiential learning exercise was an eye-opener for all those that attended, and it helped us understand the city from the perspective of the pedestrian.

It was encouraging to see political leaders from the cities of Bilbao, Inhambane, Porte Alegre, Durban and Rabat, literally take the first step together earlier this week towards recommitting themselves to create cities that put PEOPLE at the center of development. Led by the Mayor of Durban, they each signed the International Charter for Walking.

The second step was taken later in the week, again led by the political Co-Chairperson of the Urban Strategic Planning Committee who was given an opportunity to make an input into the UCLG Executive Bureau. At this meeting he urged all members of the Executive Bureau to promote this agenda and encouraged all city partners to pledge support for the Charter.

NOTE: The full Charter can be found and signed at The International Charter for Walking identifies the needs of people on foot and provides a common framework to help authorities refocus their existing policies, activities and relationships.