The steering committee meeting (COPIL) of the project AUTREMENT (Urban Planning of the Territory to REinvent Mobility and ENgage Tunisians), held on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, marked the end of the first year of the project.
The AUTREMENT project aims to promote sustainable urban development in the Tunisian cities of Kairouan and Mahdia in order to improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and the attractiveness of the region’s economy and tourism.
The second meeting of the COPIL was an opportunity to review the first year of the project. Ms. Lysiane Humbert, Administrative, logistical and financial manager of the project, and Mr. Younes Aggoun, AUTREMENT head of mission, presented the progress of activities and discussed the project’s prospects at a time when the pandemic is severely hampering the implementation of the action plan.
This conference was marked by the virtual presence of representatives of the three local authorities’ partners of the project: Mr. Radhouen Bouden, Mayor of Kairouan, Ms. Julia Dumay, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg in charge of international relations, Ms. Loubna Zouari, Deputy Mayor of Mahdia in charge of international partnerships.
One of the flagship events of the AUTREMENT project, “the bicycle parade, has demonstrated the dynamism of this network by gathering several dozen participants
Although disrupted by an unstable health context, this period allowed the coordination office in Kairouan to consolidate its presence on the ground, to launch its collaboration with the local and regional CSOs and to develop a cooperation with local authorities. One of the flagship events of the project, “the bicycle parade”, organized last May, has rightly demonstrated the dynamism of this network by gathering several dozen participants. The video of the parade, viewed more than 600 times on social networks, also reflects the enthusiasm of Tunisians for this type of event.
However, the pandemic has not been without impact on the conduct of activities. The postponement of field missions, workshops and citizen consultations, as well as events in Kairouan and Mahdia, limited the action of the AUTREMENT project. The teams had to be creative in adapting to the health situation while carrying out as many of the planned activities as possible. For example, a training on cycling policies for agents and elected officials, scheduled for July 12 and 13, 2021 in face-to-face, took place instead in virtual format due to the deterioration of the health situation in Tunisia.
During the COPIL, the Mayor of Kairouan, Mr. Bouden, praised the resilience of the project teams in the face of the pandemic. Enthusiastic about the year to come, he recalled his commitment to the energy transition and announced the creation of a department of urban mobility in collaboration with the Tunisian Ministry of Transport. He expressed his wish to see AUTREMENT follow this dynamic through concrete actions.
Ms. Zouari, Deputy Mayor of Mahdia, was pleased with the success of the project among the citizens of her city. “The project is beginning to gain visibility in Mahdia and raises expectations,” she said.
Ms. Dumay, Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg, praised the adaptability of the teams and recalled that the project is fully in line with the priorities of ecological, social and democratic transition of the current mandate of Strasbourg and in the logic of sharing experiences and cooperation between municipalities.
For the coming months, capacity building and public space development are the guidelines of the course of action.
The project “AUTREMENT” involves the realization of 7 micro-projects in Kairouan and 3 soft circuits in Mahdia, in addition to the creation of a bike house in Kairouan.
In connection with the developments, awareness-raising activities and citizen consultations are scheduled, responding in particular to the wishes expressed by the elected officials of Kairouan and Mahdia.