18 May 2022 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) have kicked off the Urban Imaginaries programme. Urban Imaginaries is a new ten-month initiative that will support cities across the Eastern Partnership to develop solutions to their most pressing urban and local challenges.
Urban Imaginaries is part of the joint EU & UNDP Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) Facility, an EU-funded initiative that promotes inclusive economic growth and innovation in the Eastern Partnership countries. The M4EG network began in 2017 with more than 300 Mayors as members. The current phase is led by UNDP (2021-2024) in close partnership with the EU offices and with the intention to build the capabilities of local authorities to use innovative methods toward just and green development.
CPI is working alongside UNDP to design and implement the Urban Imaginaries programme. The programme will strengthen the innovation capabilities of mayors and city leaders in nine cities across Armenia, Georgia, and Moldova, equipping them with the skills needed to develop initiatives that reimagine or reinvent key aspects of local living.
Cities will receive training and exposure to complexity-informed approaches and frameworks such as design thinking, futures and foresight, systems thinking, and many more. They will then be supported to design place-based solutions across a wide range of issues, including economic development, tourism, and agriculture. Funding of up to EU 60,000 will be available for interventions that have the potential to become catalysts for wider system transformation while contributing to the promotion of sustainable development in the region.
“The joint EU&UNDP initiative, Mayors for Economic Growth, is an invitation to change the way we work and move beyond business as usual. The Urban Imaginaries programme allows local governments to test new mindsets and tools for positive change in their towns, cities and communities. We are happy to partner with CPI as a thought leader around re-thinking local governance and building the municipalities’ as well as our own capabilities as learning organizations. CPI’s hands-on work with towns and cities around the world is most valuable here and we are excited to see already tangible results and learning that can be shared across the EaP network and beyond.” Gerd Trogemann, Istanbul Regional Hub, Bureau for Europe and the CIS, UNDP.
Adrian Brown, Executive Director, Centre for Public Impact, said that the increasing number of complex challenges faced by cities has brought into sharp focus the need for city governments to work differently. We are delighted to be partnering with UNDP on the new Urban Imaginaries programme and supporting Eastern Partnership towns and cities to build their capabilities and adopt new approaches. City governments have huge potential to improve the lives of their citizens. We look forward to working alongside them to reimagine government and create solutions that support long-lasting regional development.
Note: We recognise the dramatic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the refugee crisis in neighbouring Moldova. As a regional initiative, a key focus for the M4EG will be to support Ukraine and Moldova in this rapidly changing crisis situation, while focusing on enhancing the resilience of the other Eastern Partnership countries, which is more important and more relevant than ever.
Centre for Public Impact: