After several postponements linked to the health crisis, the first conference of the AUTREMENT project (Urban Territorial Development to Reinvent Mobility and Engage Tunisians) finally took place in Kairouan (Tunisia) and live from Strasbourg and several other cities in Tunisia and Europe!
This project, co-financed by the European Union (95%), aims to promote sustainable urban development in the Tunisian cities of Kairouan and Mahdia and thus improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and the economic and tourist attractiveness of the area. The development of active mobility, mainly cycling, through the implementation of dedicated facilities, and the strengthening of citizen participation in local governance are the cornerstones around which the project, which started in June 2020 for a period of 30 months, is structured.
AUTREMENT is one of the two Tunisian winners of the “Local Authorities: Partnership for Sustainable Cities” call for projects launched by the EU in 2018.
The first AUTREMENT conference was held on 27 January in Kairouan in compliance with the health regulations in force, in the presence of the municipalities of Kairouan and Mahdia. The other stakeholders were able to contribute remotely to this major event, mainly the members of the consortium based in France: the City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg – lead partner of the project -, the European Association for Local Democracy (ALDA), the CODATU network and the CEREMA study centre.
This conference was marked by the presence – physical or virtual – of the representatives of the three local authorities partners of the project who inaugurated the day: the Mayor of Kairouan, M. The Mayor of Kairouan, Mr Radhouen Bouden, the Mayor of Mahdia, Mrs Feiza Belkhir, and two women elected representatives from Strasbourg representing the Mayor of Strasbourg, Mrs Jeanne Barseghian: Mrs Sophie Dupressoir, Deputy City Councillor in charge of cycling and walking, and Mrs Carole Zielinski, Deputy Mayor in charge of local democracy, initiatives and citizen participation.
The representatives of the three technical partners of the project also spoke: Ms Antonella Valmorbida, Secretary General of ALDA and Mr Didier Duboisset, member of the ALDA Board of Directors; Mr Yannick Prebay, Technical Director for Town and Country Planning at CEREMA; and Mr Thibault de Lambert, Deputy Secretary General of CODATU.
Mr. Quentin Peignaux, Programme Officer for Environment, Energy and Climate Change at the Delegation of the European Union in Tunisia underlined the singularity of AUTREMENT, a unique project embodying EU efforts and actions in favour of decentralisation and sustainable development in Tunisia.
Mrs Sandrine Millet, Coordinator of the Solidarity and International Partnerships Unit at the City and Eurometropolis of Strasbourg and Mrs Refka Kharbouchi, Deputy Mayor of Kairouan, went back over the content of the partnership between Strasbourg and Kairouan since 2015 and the fruitful exchanges that led to the birth of the AUTREMENT project. Mr. Mohamed Bossoffara, Head of International Partnerships at the city of Mahdia spoke about the role and place of his city in the partnership.
Mr. Younes Aggoun, Head of Mission presented the project and its stakes, surrounded by the project office team.
Through the development of active mobility, AUTREMENT will improve quality of life, economic and tourist attractiveness of the area
Two multi-stakeholder workshops on the theme of sustainable mobility brought together experts from CODATU, CEREMA and the City and Eurometropole of Strasbourg’s Transport Department, and no less relevant actors from outside the project, such as representatives from the University and the Alliance Française of Kairouan.
The first workshop was the beginning of a reflection on the project to create a Maison du vélo in Kairouan, enriched by the experiences of the Strasbourg association CADR 67 and Vélorution Tunisie. The second workshop offered a broad overview of existing methodologies in terms of cycle facilities, enabling concrete progress to be made on the projects underway in Mahdia and Kairouan, two cities that intend to become models and pilots on these issues.
The AUTREMENT project is launched and it starts with the best conditions!
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