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Thursday, 19 January 2017 13:53

UN-Habitat completes its two-year ‘Strengthening Urban & Regional Planning’ project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

Erbil, 18 January 2017 – Marking the successful conclusion of the ‘Strengthening Urban & Regional Planning’ (SURP) project, H.E Minister of Municipalities & Tourism Ms Nawroz Mawlood congratulated the staff of the General Directorate of Urban Planning and the Directorate of Urban Planning-Erbil Governorate for their hard-earned achievements and commitment to continuous learning at a final event held at the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism.

Generously funded by the Ministry of Planning’s Kurdistan Vision 2020 Joint Programming Facility, the SURP capacity-building programme was developed and delivered by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Ministry of Municipalities & Tourism (MOMT) and Erbil Governorate to provide its professional staff with improved urban and regional planning, technical and administrative skills. In the last two decades, the Kurdistan region has experienced a substantial polarisation of urbanisation towards its three main cities, competition for land and the gradual depletion of its natural resources. “The unprecedented expansion of the cities’ urban footprint has required significant public investments in infrastructure development and urban planning – stated Dr Erfan, Head of UN-Habitat Programme – and lately, the region has also had to respond to a record influx of IDPs and bear the brunt of unpredictable economic changes which have affected the implementation of urban projects and long-term plans”.

SURP was designed to address these urban and regional challenges by strengthening the capacity of the urban planning staff of MOMT and Directorate of Urban Planning of the Erbil Governorate. Its multi-pronged implementation mechanisms were comprised of four key components: (1) Structured delivery of a series of module planning lectures; (2) Tailored technical training packages focusing on specific “soft” and “hard”/technical skills related to surveying, GIS mapping, Procurement, Human Resources, Communications; (3) Participatory sessions on Institutional Development; and (4) The delivery of specific “learning-by-doing” urban planning outputs such as a Sector Plan in Erbil, a Rehabilitation Plan for the historical quarter of Tajeel, a strategic Plan for the town of Taq Taq and an Urban Planning Framework for small towns in the Kurdistan region. Overall, since the inception of the SURP project, UN-Habitat delivered over 900 hours of training, targeting 148 MOMT staff.

Through its intensive institutional development sessions, SURP has contributed to a clearer definition of institutional mandates, roles and planning responsibilities – including the drafting of a Planning and Development Vision for cities in KRG. The on-the-job training approach made the most of the enthusiastic participation and interaction between the trainees and other stakeholders, improving trainees’ capacity to conduct field assessments and urban diagnosis, revising plans, drafting strategies and putting together proposals. Finally, the project contributed to staff’s confidence in presenting their ideas and delivering public presentations.

Minister Nawroz praised the efforts that UN-Habitat exerted towards building the capacity of her staff and brought the event to a close by expressing her wish that such fruitful collaboration will may continue in the near future.

For further information, please contact:
Alan Miran, Media and Communications Specialist, UN-Habitat
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: + 964 750 342 7036

Additional Info

  • Agency: UN-HABITAT