Rio de Janeiro, 24 March 2014-- To promote urban renewal and revitalization, the cities of Colon and Panama will work with UN-Habitat in the generation of plans and projects including the revitalization of local economic development, planning of public spaces and sustainable human settlements.

“It´s a pleasure and a honor to sign this memorandum of understanding with the city of Panama that will allow us to develop a cooperation agreement at the moment that the city of Panama assumes significant challenges and leadership that puts back the issue of planning of land use as an issue that must be accompanied by UN-Habitat, which is the Agency that cares about cities worldwide. We are promoting a new city system at a global level, a model of compact city, connected, integrated and inclusive," said the UN-Habitat Director of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Elkin Velásquez.

Among the topics in the signed document is the regeneration of adequate public spaces that are conducive to quality of life and which involves advances in public policy, municipal legislation with emphasis on urban management tools and strengthening governance. The agreement provides technical assistance in the process of transformation and revitalization in the region of the port of Colón.

Moreover, it was reported that the Urban Renewal of Colon City project directly benefits 25,000 residents in this city, by building up 5000 housing units, which will be complemented with other infrastructure such as paving streets, street lighting, restoration of historic buildings and sewage treatment. For the government, this is the flagship work of the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (Miviot, for its acronym in Spanish).

The initiative seeks to encourage public and private investment. The collaboration aims to provide technical cooperation framework for the period 2015-2017, with the implementation of specialized technical assistance in developing the strategic plan for the transformation of Colón as a technical input of urban revitalization plan and Colón´s implementation follow up by the Government, the Municipality, among other actors.