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Integrating the different pieces for resilient urban development in Central America and the Dominican Republic

Barbara Scholz



Thursday, June 30, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 19
Central American Social Integration Secretariat (SISCA)
Integrated Governance in Spatial Planning for a More Just, Green, and Healthy Urban Future
NE 199


The event will offer the opportunity to reflect about how the eight member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and its cities have promoted resilient urban development in the past years. Highlighting good practices and addressing lessons learned, it will serve as a space to deliberate about how strategies and planning instruments – driven from a regional level and coordinated between different sectors – have contributed to transforming cities and making urban planning across the region more sustainable. Cities across Latin America have experienced uncontrolled urban growth, accounting for the second highest rate in the world, and are heavily affected by climate change. Adding to the eminent threat of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, (hydro)meteorological hazards such as heavy rainfall and hurricanes are becoming increasingly common. Informal settlements, which are home to almost 30 per cent of the population, are particularly vulnerable and experience substantial damages and losses as a result of flooding and landslides. This aggravates the already precarious situation of the local people, especially women, who are subject to high rates of violence and a lack of social and economic prospects, leading many to use irregular ways of migration in the quest for a better life. The COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenges that cities in the region face. In response, various regional and metropolitan urban strategies and planning instruments have been developed in the last year and a half, led by the Central American Council on Housing and Human Settlements (CCVAH), which brings together the highest authorities of housing and urban development of the SICA member countries, which seek to support cities in overcoming risks in a sustainable way. The following strategies and instruments, which will be presented at the event, are the result of a cross-sectoral and multi-level dialogue: - The Regional Plan for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda for Central America and the Dominican Republic (PRINAU-SICA), which is the regional agenda that promotes sustainable urban development for a more resilient, equitable and green society. PRINAU-SICA supports a new urban paradigm that considers the city as a public good and inclusive urban and spatial planning as the way to achieve it. -The Plan for the Recovery, Social Reconstruction and Resilience of the SICA Region (Plan 3R), which was developed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and includes an axis dedicated to urban development with emphasis on the reality of informal settlements. -The regional support framework for urban and prospective disaster risk management, which was co-developed with German development cooperation and serves as cross-sectoral regional instrument that enables concrete action for cities to access different offers for strengthening capacities to minimise climate-related risks.


Deliberate about: • Opportunities and challenges of SICA member countries, to advance in line with the New Urban Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, towards the construction of more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive cities. • Present PRINAU-SICA, Plan 3R as well as the the regional support framework for urban and prospective disaster risk management. The latter was co-developed with German development cooperation and serves as cross-sectoral regional instrument that enables concrete action that improves city access to capacity-building offers for minimising climate-related risks. • The potential of SICA as a space for regional integration for the planning and articulation of actions that generate added value and complement the work carried out at the national level. • The relevance of articulating common visions among countries, as potential drivers of multilevel coordination, joint management and obtaining financing, and the establishment of regional alliances with international cooperation partners. During the event, the common position adopted by the SICA countries for a resilient Central America will be presented. • The success stories and lessons learned from countries and cities of the SICA region, as a response to challenges faced in the context of adverse natural phenomena and the COVID-19 pandemic. • Good practices and the role of international cooperation as a partner and ally of countries for urban resilience.

Session speakers

Ms. Anita Zetina
Ms. Michelle Sol
Minister of Housing
Ministry of Housing
Ms. Cristina Lemus
Viceminister of Urban Development and Housing
Ministry of Communication, Infraestructure and Housing
Mr. Roy Jiménez
Viceminister of Housing and Human Settlements
Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements (MIVAH)
Ms. Olivia Cano
General Codirector
National Institute of Urban and Rural Housing (INVUR)
Mr. Marlon Urtecho
General Manager
City Hall of Central District
Mr. Edwin Ramírez
Metropolitan Advisor
Majors Council of Metropolitan Area of San Salvador
Mr. Abner Jiménez
Coordinator of Urban Resilience Project
Mr. Elkin Velásquez
Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
UN Habitat