Mehmet Duman, Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA), has attended the virtual Preparatory Meeting of “Habitat in Towns: Collingwood World Summit” held on July 2, 2020.

During his speech, Secretary General Duman stressed the role of intermediary cities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “During the fight against the pandemic when social isolation is on top of our agenda, intermediary cities, where you may easily travel from one place to another on foot, remind us once again of the advantage arising from their natural features” said Duman.

He also added that intermediary cities, despite having an advantageous position during the pre-pandemic period, may remain inadequate in extraordinary situations due to the insufficiency of service planning which had been developed in view of their own population scales.

Stating that the COVID-19 process also reminded us of the necessity to give a new perspective to decision-making mechanisms, Duman underlined that new urban strategies are urgently needed in consideration of possible disasters that we may encounter in the future.

Duman also touched on the situation of metropolitan cities and highlighted their advantageous position thanks to their strong health infrastructure in extraordinary situations. He added that metropolitan cities, whose daytime population goes beyond the resident population due to job and tourism opportunities, also have an additional capacity margin to meet the needs of the said population in the field of health and other fields. Therefore, in extraordinary situations, this advantage of such cities compared to small-scale cities should not be ignored.

The online meeting ended with participants sharing their comments.

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