Urban Strategic Planning

Urban Strategic Planning

Rural territories cannot be reduced to ‘serve’ as an asset for urban growth, for they would disappear and important resources would be lost, such as land, water, oxygen and food.

“It is not enough for intermediary cities to just ‘be between’ they must act as ‘go-betweens’"

Josep Maria Llop
Chair CIMES (UNESCO), Lleida

“Local economic development is a way of territorializing development. Moving from typography to topography is essential.”

Jean-Pierre Elong Mbassi
UCLG Africa

“Public Space is about land and is about promise! Park and leisure are key elements of the city’s quality of life and of the city’s economy”

Cristo Swarts

"Do we take into account the importance of planning for the economy?"

Nassar Fakihlanjiri
Chamber of Commerce, Chefchaouen

The Urban Strategic Planning Commitee facilitates cooperation among cities and local governments sharing expertise & knowledge for sustainable urban development.


The sharing of urban management experiences among cities and local institutions has accomplished transformations, with positive and significant impacts on the quality of life of citizens. CUSP raises the visibility and worldwide appreciation of such experiences and enables cooperation with among our network of local governments. We also act as a platform for consolidating innovative solutions for housing and urban management.


Our long-term goal is to improve local governmentsknowledge of planning policies and tools and their relationship with international development partners. Aiming to link and localize the new urban agenda towards Habitat III, we develop tools for inclusion urban rural linkages, planning, capacity buildingand public space among others. We support UCLG in the development of universal urban planning guidelines.


We place a particular emphasis on South - South and Triangular cooperation to respond to the need to share experiences of pro-poor polices and strategies to deal with urban informality.




Specific Objectives

  1. Creating a collaborative platform for discussion, exchange and promotion ofgood practices and lessons learnt that contribute to local urban planning policies.
  2. Increase the visibility and worldwide appreciation of how management can have a positive and significant impact on quality of life in cities.
  3. Facilitate the transfer of technical assistance from cities that have had successful urban planning experiences.
  4. Channel the inquiries that cities bring into the Committee and represent the cities' perspective in the international scenario.
  5. Consolidate links with other UCLG committees and/or working groups on issues that intersect with the work of the Committee on Urban Strategic Planning.


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Committee chairs

Committee chairs

Mohamed Sefiani

Mayor of Chefchaouen, Morocco

A recognized leader in Mediterranean city networks. Since he became associated in the work of the Committee, Mayor Sefiani has advocated for the important role of intermediary cities in the global agenda. He has led the UCLG Working Group on Intermediary Cities since 2013.

Jorge Giorno

Buenos Aires Undersecretary of the unit of coordination of the council of strategic planning

Undersecretary of the unit of coordination of the council of strategic planning since 2016, has had a leading role as Deputy of the autonomous City of Buenos Aires in the processes of reform and autonomy of the national State

It has a prominent role in regional spaces, Mercociudades and Ibero-American Programs such as CIDEU, where it fulfills the role of coordinator of both networks in the South American Region in the generation of proposals on strategic planning and metropolitan areas.

Mayor Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda

Mayor of Durban – eThekwini, South Africa (Co-chair)

Mayor Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda has a rich socio-political activism background.

Over the years he has distinguished himself as a committed cadre of the African National Congress. He (Kaunda) has served in various leadership roles in both the ANC Youth League and Provincial structures. Born in iNanda north of Durban, he gained political consciousness early and became active from the tender age of 15. He was involved in student politics and youth political activism during the hard days of violence.

Cllr Kaunda, obtained his Diploma in Governance and Leadership from the University of South Africa and an Advanced Diploma in Advanced Governance and Public Leadership from the University of Witwatersrand.From 2000-2006, Kaunda served as a Ward 57 Councillor in Inanda

Technical chairs

Technical chairs

Patricia Mancuello

Patricia is the Responsible for International Relations of the Coordination Unit of the Strategic Planning Council of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Bachelor Degree in Political Science UBA University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Magister in International Relations FLACSO Arg;  also has a Specialization in Urban Strategic Planning CIDEU, Barcelona, Spain

She has been Coordinator of international cooperation at the Secretariat of the Cabinet and Administrative Coordination (Argentina)

She contributes her experience as Focal Point at Mercociudades, CIDEU, and other network cities in Strategic planning, coordinating work with local governments, networks of cities and agencies of cooperation

Puvendra Akkiah

A registered Professional Planner with over 15 years’ experience in local, national and international planning, Puvendra is passionate about strategic planning and is one of the lead facilitators of the Strategic Planning Master Classes supported by the Committee on Urban Strategic Planning. Puvendra was the recipient of the South African Planning Institute National Award for Professional Excellence in 2014



Juan Carlos Uribe Vega

Juan Carlos studied landscape architecture and environmental sciences, and has a dual MSc in International Cooperation for Urban Development, and Sustainable Emergency Architecture. He has over 7 years of experience coordinating and facilitating international exchange, education, and cooperation projects, including in the areas of resilience, urban regeneration, SDGs, and community engagement. 

Sara Hoeflich

Program Manager

Sara Hoeflich de Duque has a diploma in engineering from the University of Aachen and is an architect and urban planner. She has been active in international cooperation and urban development and strategic planning for 20 years. Previously she worked in German development cooperation in Indonesia and Colombia, as well as in urban design and social housing enterprises in her home town of Cologne in Germany.