The programme of the 1st World Forum of Intermediary Cities in Chefchaouen at a glance


The Moroccan city of Chefchaouen is preparing to host the first edition of the World Forum of Intermediate Cities, a unique event that aims to make sustainable development a common reality from the perspective of intermediary cities. This forum aims to bring together every two years, mayors of intermediary cities, policy makers and other partners. 

From 5-7 July, mayors, local and regional leaders, experts, senior government officials and representatives of international organisations from around the world will gather in Chefchaouen for a global forum to discuss and demonstrate how intermediary cities can promote sustainable development at local, national and international levels. On this occasion, the Mayor of Chefchaouen, Mohamed Sefiani, will discuss with his peers and partners the role that intermediary cities can play in the implementation of the global development agenda.

“After Habitat III and the launching of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), intermediary cities need to enter the dynamic of implementation of the global agendas with their own voice, their specific perspective, and their specific needs. The majority of future urban development will take place in intermediary cities; and we as mayors have to take up this challenge to turn this into an opportunity for a sustainable development. Intermediary cities and their mayors must be united to take up this new challenge of the implementation and localization of SDGs together. This is about the future of our planet, and our common environment: we are all concerned and responsible. Join us!

Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen

Under the theme “Imagining an urban future together through intermediary cities“, participants will focus on how to consolidate the intermediary city around common interests, such as citizen participation, environment, culture and local economic development.

The World Forum of Intermediary Cities has been conceived as a restricted event, with the participation in its first edition being limited to about 200 participants. The purpose is to bring together at the same table local and regional elected officials, global decision-makers on urban issues, such as the United Nations, UN-Habitat, the World Bank and other partner institutions such as the Cities Alliance, UNDP, etc., as well as scientists and experts

[Read: Imagining together a more sustainable urban future in the 1st UCLG World Forum of Intermediary Cities]

Inspiring participants

During the round tables and parallel workshops that are part of the Forum, participants will have the opportunity to listen to mayors of small and medium-sized cities that come to discuss sustainable development. The aim it to identify challenges faced by intermediary cities in the implementation of the Global Agendas, as well as possible solutions found by some of them, through an action of global monitoring of Intermediary Cities. Among the mayors who will be present are the mayors of Cuenca in Ecuador, Puerto Inca in Peru, Odienné in Ivory Coast, Jinja in Uganda, Granollers, Soria and Seville in Spain, Sahab in Jordan, Bkarsouna in Lebanon, Nevşehir in Turkey or Sainte Julie in Canada.

Highlights of the programme: thematic round tables

The program of the meeting is structured around the following five thematic axes:

  1. The Intermediary City as ‘Value Capture’ and Citizens as Drivers of Economic Growth
  2. Building Consciousness: Citizenship as a multiplier of SDG implementation and impact on the Climate Agenda
  3. Leveraging Intermediary Cities in the World: A unique potential for global sustainability and territorial justice
  4. Making sustainable and empowering the culture of “good living”
  5. The Concept of Natural Resources as Heritage for Humanity

How is implementation carried out in Intermediary Cities? What problems have been identified? What are the challenges and barriers to political, citizen or legislative will? What are the opportunities? How can implementation in intermediary cities be facilitated?

The Forum is organised around these themes in the form of “negotiation tables”: international and national institutions of governance, financing and support for local governments will sit down to “negotiate” with the political representatives of cities and territories with the aim of drawing up a work agenda, actions and instruments (political, economic, social, etc.) that will open up a new global perspective for intermediate cities and allow them to develop their own specific agenda. This agenda will be worked together with the institutions that have committed themselves during the event. To do this, having the right people at the right tables is the key to this process: gaining the commitment of the institutions and key representatives involved in the process.

Decisions to be taken for the urban future of Intermediary Cities

The goal of the UCLG Intermediary Cities Forum is to implement on a territorial scale the Global Agendas. To this end, it is important to generate policies that adjust to the concrete realities of intermediary cities, as well as to formulate recommendations that facilitate the right conditions for them to develop global agendas. The expected outcomes of the World Forum should lead to the elaboration of a Charter of Intermediary Cities of the World and make the Forum a permanent platform for the definition of a specific global agenda for Intermediary Cities.