UCLG-MEWA Drives Sustainable Urban Transport Discourse in Ankara: High-Level Engagements Propel KAVŞAK Project and Foster Strategic Partnerships. A comprehensive series of high-level visits to foster dialogue on the continuity of the Sustainable Urban Transportation Network (KAVŞAK) Project commenced in 2020. UCLG-MEWA, serving as an executive board member and key project stakeholder, played a pivotal role in these engagements, held in Ankara from January 15 to 18, 2024.
Initiating the delegation’s journey on January 15, the European Union (EU) Delegation office in Ankara hosted a meeting where the delegation engaged with Christian Ballaro, Program Manager and Attaché of the EU Delegation to Türkiye. The session encompassed a detailed presentation, dissemination of project outputs such as the Sustainable Urban Transportation Guide and Türkiye White Paper on Sustainable Urban Transportation, and discussions on potential collaboration.
Continuing the discussions on January 16, a visit to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, General Directorate of Transport Services Regulation, unfolded after presenting project details and introducing the institution, deliberations centered on cooperative efforts in Urban Mobility.
Later that day, the delegation proceeded to the Union of Municipalities of Türkiye (UMT) headquarters, engaging in discussions with UMT Secretary General Hayri Baraçlı. Topics included the project’s sustainability, City Lab, urban transportation issues, and collaborative initiatives between UCLG-MEWA and UMT.
January 17 witnessed a visit to the Energy Efficiency and Environment Department Office of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Here, information was shared regarding the UCLG-MEWA Malatya Consensus Istanbul Declaration and UCLG-MEWA Trabzon Resilience Declaration.
Further visits were conducted at the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change, encompassing the General Directorate of Geographic Information Systems, Smart Cities Department, and General Directorate of Local Governments. A detailed explanation of the Smart Cities and Urban Mobility Committee set the stage for collaboration between UCLG-MEWA and the Smart Cities Department. Emphasis on the City Diplomacy and Local Governance Committee occurred during discussions with the General Directorate of Local Governments, underscoring the significance of UCLG’s representation in international networks.
Concluding the program on January 18, meetings were held at the Presidency’s Strategy and Budget Directorate, Transportation and Logistics Department, the Ministry of Family and Social Services, General Directorate of Disabled and Elderly Services, and the Accessibility Department. These sessions delved into aligning projects with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and UCLG-MEWA’s commitment to supporting local governments in preparing Voluntary Local Evaluation Reports (VLR).
Beyond the KAVŞAK Project, the program also included the presentation of UCLG-MEWA’s corporate profile and collaborative planning efforts, further enriching the exchange between the delegation and relevant authorities.