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Mayors of MuSPP partner municipalities, Ministers, discuss achievements and meet with Mayor of Thessaloniki

Mayors of partner municipalities of the Municipal Spatial Planning Support Programme joined MuSPP management and staff for a retreat held in Thessaloniki between September 21 and 24. The purpose of the retreat was to discuss the achievements of the second phase of the Programme which will close in October 2011. The focus was on the development of the professional capacities of municipal planners to perform spatial and urban planning tasks, engagement of civil society and stakeholders in planning as well as linkages between municipal and urban development plans, and capital investment projects. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss lessons learned and provided MuSPP management with a number of recommendations concerning further work in Kosovo.

The next 3-year phase of the Programme, funded by the Government of Sweden,  will commence in November 2011 and will continue to support selected Kosovo municipalities in addressing spatial planning issues, provision of public services, and upgrading of public spaces. The next phase of the MuSPP will have a stronger  focus on environmental aspects and the integrated approach to planning. One of the recommendations made during the retreat was the need for stronger cooperation between the Programme and the Association of Kosovo Municipalities that would be  reflected in a Memorandum of Understanding.

The retreat was attended also by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government Administration, Mr. Slobodan Petrovic and Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, Mr. Ilir Mirena. Both Ministers stressed the importance of developing capacities of municipal staff for planned development of Kosovo cities, protection of natural environment and agricultural land as well as the ability to implement existing plans and policies.

The visit to Thessaloniki gave an opportunity for the mayors to meet with their counterpart, mayor of Thessaloniki Mr. Yiannis Boutaris and discuss the issues of local development, capital investments and overall management of the city. Mr. Boutaris expressed his hope for closer cooperation between Kosovo municipalities and Thessaloniki in the future. He also invited Mr. Slobodan Petrovic to attend the 100th anniversary of the liberation of Thessaloniki to be held next year.

The delegation had also an opportunity to take a guided tour of the city and to visits some of its most precious monuments as well as experience the city’s programme promoting non-motorised transport, which is held once a month in different parts of the city, when streets are closed to cars and open only to cyclists and public transport. 

MuSPP management found the discussions with participants of the retreat and their recommendations very valuable and intends to hold similar events on a yearly basis.


UN-HABITAT Pristina Office:

Ministries Building "Rilindja", 10th Floor
10000 Prishtina, Kosovo
Phone: +381 38 200 32611
Fax: +381 38 224 122

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