Panamá City, 7 September 2015—UN-Habitat has signed an agreement with Panama City aimed at modernising public administration as well as institutional strengthening to achieve more effective, efficient and equitable governance in four districts of the city.

The partnership agreement was signed by Mayor Jose Blandon and the director of UN-Habitat’s Latin America and the Caribbean Elkin Velasquez. It  lays the foundation for the Partial Land Management Plans for the districts of Santa Ana, Chorrillo, Calidonia and Pedregal, incorporating approaches from the New Urban Agenda which calls for sustainable urban development.

In Panama, UN-Habitat will use a local team working in close coordination with the country’s Department of City Planning. In addition, international experts will regularly travel to Panama to assess and guide the project, and promote knowledge transfer processes to strengthen the capacity of the team and officials from the municipalities involved in the initiative.

During the signing, the vice mayor of Panama City, Raisa Banfield, said that “this agreement is highly desirable to strengthen the processes of urban planning and reorganization of the city. It introduces concrete projects that will have a positive impact on the city and will show what can be done [in terms of urban planning]."

Velasquez said, "this agreement is very important for our organization. Panama City becomes a UN-Habitat showcase, demonstrating what we can achieve for a city with our international expertise in sustainable urban development."