Climate Resilient and
Inclusive Cities Project

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Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities Project joined Partnership for Sustainable Cities - First Meeting of Partners event in Brussels, Belgium, between 7-9 March 2023. The meeting that was held in International Auditorium, Roi Albert II Boulevard opened with Panel Discussion on “The Cities programme in the wider context of EU Engagement Strategies”. 

Marlene Holzner, Head of Unit in DG INTPA introduced the concept of “geographisation” that aims to make programme more national and links to local initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The way to reach these goals are no other than promoting decentralised cooperation.

Jean Bossuyt, Team Leader and Coordination Facility and Amandine Sabourin in their draft policy note on the role of city-to-city partnerships as a catalyst for ownership of local development processes explained that there is no standard definition of decentralised cooperation. The conceptual interpretations, approaches, implementation modalities and practices vary widely. They also evolved over time as a result of the growing profile of cities in international cooperation, new development paradigms and global changes.

However, city-to-city partnerships are increasingly acknowledged as a modality of decentralised development co-operation. City-to-city partnerships are undertaken by municipalities from developed and developing countries to initiate and develop co-operative actions to their mutual benefit. These partnerships usually rely on a peer-to-peer exchange and follow the principle of reciprocity, i.e. municipalities engage in peer-to-peer learning activities and exchange knowledge and good practices. Fabrizio Rossi, Secretary General, CEMR/Platforma explained that decentralised cooperation has becoming an instrument to create resilient communities and invest in people. “The agenda is very busy and complex” he said.

One inspiring agenda is represented by “Move it Like Lublin” a city-to-city cooperation between City of Chisinau (Moldova) and Lublin (Poland). The project was trying to improve transportation facilities to accommodate 100,000 new inhabitants. The new inhabitants are actually Ukrainian refugees. The project is not solely about improving transportation system and supporting public services to the refugees. At the same time, it is also becoming catalyst for the refugees to become important parts of the cities’ economy. About 70% of refugees were welcomed in city community’s housings. And majority of the refugees are professionals and seen as an added value for the cities’ economy. The project also shows strong solidarity of the two cities to the refugees that could bring peace to the people and the region.

Lessons learned from this event for CRIC pilot cities are: decentralised cooperation could advocate local and national developments and policies. It is important for donors to develop and design project that could support national priorities under global agreement – in CRIC case is Paris Agreement. The CRIC project is supporting 10 pilot cities in Indonesia in developing climate action plans and making sure that the process is participatory and open. This is becoming proof that decentralised cooperation works and the cooperation was facilitated by local, regional and international communities.

In the last day of the event, CRIC joined other participants to visit ECOWERF waste management site in Leuven. ECOWERF is an example of modern household waste management agency where the public company manages household waste using modern recycling tools and technology. From the visit we acknowledged that the key for a successful household waste management program depends on strong regulations from the municipalities that support reducing, reusing and recycling waste behaviours.  The regulation includes extended producer’s responsibility law that will enable waste producer to directly support waste recycling, reusing and reducing programmes.

Economic of scale also plays important role in growing ECOWERF business. ECOWERF is supported by strong customers consist of a minimum 100,000 households. Although, people in developed country like in Belgium also requires long process – 30 years - to develop waste management awareness, the already mature society combines with mature business scheme have helped created profitable business. For Indonesia, it should start somewhere for example by truly implementing extended producer’s responsibility policy to promote recycling business.



A unique cooperation between cities, officials, civil society organizations, and academics towards resilient and inclusive cities.

Co-funded by EU

This project is co-funded by the European Union


Hizbullah Arief

Pascaline Gaborit