UNECE and UNDP partner with the Government of Armenia to promote sustainable urban developmentApr 9, 2015
The Republic of Armenia is well committed to improve housing condition and urban planning and development. The country is actively working towards the preparation of the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – HABITAT III, which will take place in 2016 and is expected to adopt the New Global Urban Agenda. Armenia has already completed and submitted to the HABITAT III secretariat its national report on housing and urban development and is engaged in multiple projects on urban planning and energy efficient housing.
Yet in 2013 Government of Armenia requested the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) assistance in development of the second Country Profile on Housing and Land Management, which will identify trends and gaps and will be used as a base to prepare a national action plan on sustainable housing and urban development. In October 2014, the Government of Armenia also joined the UNECE led “United Smart Cities” project and selected the town of Goris as a pilot.
To support the efforts of the Government of Armenia, on 9 April 2015 the UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach signed two Memorandums of Understanding with the Ministry of Urban Development of Armenia and UNDP in Armenia. The documents provide the framework for cooperation in the preparation of the Country Profile on Housing and Land Management for the Republic of Armenia and for the development of a pilot project on smart city concept for the town of Goris. For the memorandum on smart cities additional partners are the Municipality of Goris and Regional Environmental Center for Caucasus (REC) Armenian office.
In line with the agreements, UNECE and UNDP in Armenia will support the government in conducting the analysis of the housing and urban development situation and developing specific policy recommendations and action plans at both country and municipal levels.
The signing of the memorandums was followed by two workshops and a research mission of UNECE experts for the development of the Country Profile on Housing and Land Management of Armenia. Other international partner organisations are involved in the organisation of the workshops and the research mission, including the Asian Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC), UN-Habitat, and others.
In his speech on the occasion of the signing of the memorandums of understanding the Minister of Urban Development of Republic of Armenia Mr. Narek Sargsyan stressed that “only through such concerted actions of the government and international partner organisations, participation of which was effectively facilitated by the UNECE, Republic of Armenia can achieve its national goals on sustainable urban development. The achieved results will also contribute to the global actions towards the development of the New Global Urban Agenda”. This exercise also showed how coordination and the commitment of the Government can allow the United Nation system and other relevant organizations in the region to deliver as one.
“UNDP considers that energy security strategy adopted by the Government of Armenia has to be fully considered in the housing strategy, as decisions taken in that sector will affect the energy demand of building stock for many years,” said Claire Medina, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Armenia.
Note for the editors
The Country Profiles on Housing and Land Management are a flagship activity of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management. These studies provide tools for governments to analyse and assess their policies and strategies on housing, urban development and land management, as well as the institutional and financial frameworks for these sectors.
The UNECE “United Smart Cities” project is conducted in cooperation with the Organization for International Economic Cooperation (OiER), Environmental Agency Austria (EAA), UN-Habitat, the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP), and many other organisations. This project aims to help cities in transition and developing countries to promote their sustainable growth while focusing on a more transparent and efficient use of their natural and human resources. Participation in this project allows cities to gain an easier access to new technologies and will support them in improving the quality of life of their inhabitants.