Sharjah: As a part of the continuing efforts to develop the Department of Planning and Surveying in Sharjah UAE and explore ongoing international models and Best Practices, under the patronage of HE Eng. Salaah Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Royal adviser of the United Arab Emirates in Planning Affairs, and with the support of Eng. Khalid Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Director of Planning and Surveying Department, Sharjah UAE, a workshop was arranged at the Ninth and Tenth of December 2018 with United Nations’ experts. The UN-Habitat representatives clarified the mechanisms, indicators and tools that used for professional community participation and community-based development as well as distinctive the legal frameworks and steps. The methods of identifying the target groups and different tactics to implement the participation positively.

The UN-Habitat - Egypt office - represented by Dr. Bassem Fahmy, Director of the Urban Planning and Strategic Program, and Ahmed Adel, the Programme Officer, presented the accumulated experience and the UN-Habitat adapted methodology focusing on ongoing projects that managed in cooperation with the Government of Egypt. The conception of community participation in development projects at various levels; the examined projects enclosed the preparation of the Strategic Plan and Development Vision for the Greater Cairo Region, the project of the El Alamein new city and Climate Changes urban development initiatives in Luxor City and also the preparation of Strategic Plans for the 70 Small Cities in the delta and upper Egypt.

According to Dr Bassem Fahmy "The United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) provides an integrated methodology that enables institutions and bodies working in urban planning and urban development to build and transform their cities into better places in terms of safety, health and greenery with better opportunities to accommodate and adapt to rapid changes, Habitat works with governments, organizations at all levels, including the various sectors of local government, civil society and the private sector, to help build, manage, plan and finance sustainable urban development. Our vision is cities that are free of slums and liveable for all, Cities do not pollute the environment or drain natural resources. Where most people live in cities, Habitat is at the forefront of the fight against rapidly growing poverty in cities and the disasters caused by climate change or economic imperatives caused by weak planning systems associated with urban development, threatening the lives and livelihoods of entire cities and communities. The UN-HABITAT program, as the UN Gate for future, prosperous, smart and inclusive cities, constantly improves the focus and response to the aspirations of the cities and their inhabitants. Eng. Ahmed Adel pointed out that the aim of the workshop is to share different experiences in several important issues, notably; community participation in better urban planning systems to achieve tangible improvements in both living conditions and urban livelihoods.

The participants in the workshop praised the success and development of the Egyptian experience during the last ten years in the field of community participation starting from its first projects in 2008 and until its last projects in 2018, at the level of sectoral axes in different projects according to the nature of each project and the relationship with principles and basic definitions of strategic planning and United Nations Human Settlements Program. The workshop concluded by honouring Eng. Khaled, Director of Planning and Surveying Department, Sharjah Municipality, to the Egyptian delegation for their efforts in clarifying all the relevant points in terms of international experiences and projects managed through the Habitat program in the Arab Republic of Egypt.