Working groups

On the basis of shared experiences within working groups open to all its members and led by its technical secretariat, the PFVT develops French positions to be advanced in international debate as well as recommendations for improving practices in the area of sustainable urban development. In collaboration with its members, the PFVT has pursued thought-provoking discussions on various themes since 2011. Its work has led to the creation of the folowing working groups:

Strategic urban planning

The development, in 2012, of the Orientations of French cooperation in support of strategic urban planning, published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, was the first partnership effort to draw up a French strategy in the framework of the PFVT.

Defined as a key priority of the French guidelines in support of urban governance adopted in 2009, urban planning is also the priority of the UN-Habitat strategic plan.

These guidelines recommend support of developing cities and regions based on local conditions by bolstering:

  • joint production of local policies, by mobilizing all participants around local authorities;
  • strengthening local authorities and putting into place multi-stakeholder cooperation arrangements;
  • adopting an integrated approach by coordinating policies within sectors, linking local policies in space and setting up an evolving process allowing exchanges between the development and practical application of strategy;
  • training and support of local actors.

Urban planning is a political process, both in content and in its development and direction. Following the presentation of the 6th World Urban Forum guidelines, UN-Habitat awarded a leadership role to France in drawing up the international guidelines for urban and local planning.


Access to basic services for all and support for decentralization processes

Launched in 2012, the second working group focused its reflections on access to basic services and support for decentralization processes.

UN-Habitat adopted the international guidelines on decentralization and the strengthening of local authorities in 2007 and the guidelines on access to basic services for all in 2009. These guidelines provide recommendations on multi-partner governance for the provision of public services in the framework of decentralization.

France participated actively in drawing up these guidelines and putting them into action. The objective of the PFVT's work has been to identify good practices among its members in order to apply these principles in the framework of delegation of public service, international action of local authorities, NGO assistance to informal networks, etc.

The PFVT also drew up the following recommendations in support of implementing the guidelines:

  • develop inter-sectorial approaches taking into account the specific contexts of the regions;
  • strengthen complementarity among local actors;
  • promote frameworks for dialogue and democratic participation;
  • link access to basic services to strategic urban planning processes.

 Access to Basic Services For All and Support for Decentralization Processes


Local public project contracting

In 2014 the efforts of this working group resulted in publication of guidelines for French aid for management of local public project contracting, endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and presented at the 7th World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia.

France supports strengthening management of public projects at the local level, an institutional tool that ensures a local strategy grounded in the general interest. It promotes a global and political approach to the city, with governance centered on the local public authority, responsible for the local public project.

In the face of the challenges local authorities face in effectively carrying out their tasks, these guidelines recommend in particular:

  • improving the capacities of local authorities managing projects to mobilize financial resources;
  • developing and sharing knowledge of the territory;
  • consolidating local public service management competencies.

 French Guidelines on local public contracting


Culture in the city: architectures, heritages and identities

CultureVilleIn liaison with the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the PFVT has organised a seminar on "Culture in the city: architectures, heritages and identities", on 22 January 2015 in Paris.

This seminar brought together players from civil society, academia and the private and public sectors in order to share their expertise on heritage issues in urban areas. Arising from exchanges, the publication will contribute to the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

 Culture dans la ville - Programme Fr


Orientations de laide française en faveur de la revitalisation des quartiers historiques

French Guidelines on the revitalization of historic neighbourhoods

Orientaciones de la ayuda francesa a favor de la revitalizacion de los barrios historicos para unas ciudades sostenibles

 Cities and Climate Change

The working group on cities and climate change is part of a quite dense international agenda in terms of sustainable city, in particular in the framework of the 21st Conference of Parties linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) which was held in Paris in December 2015.

Between March and July 2015, 136 participants exchanged and debated during four workshops, led by the International Chamber of Commerce and by the technical secretariat of the PFVT. The redaction committee in charge of supporting the preparation of sessions and to follow the publication process was composed of the following organizations: the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Development, the French Development Agency, the International Chamber of Commerce, the Arene, the Gret and the Institute for Development and Urbanism of the Île-de-France region. As a result of this working group, a document will be published in March 2016.

French guilines towards cities' action on climate

Urban Resilience

A seminar on Urban resilience, co-organized by the PFVT and the Cerema, was held the 30th of October 2015. The resilience of infrastructures, neighborhoods and local residents is one of the key issues of urban and territorial sustainable development, in France as well as in emergent and developing countries.

This seminar gathered different stakeholders from civil society, from the private and public sector and researchers. They all shared their expertise on issues of vulnerability and resilience in urban contexts. After opening a debate on the definition of the notion of urban resilience, its specificities and the challenges for its implementation in the countries of the South, interventions focused on crisis management by local authorities and on the necessary articulation between emergency short term policies and long term rehabilitation policies. Finally, studying resilience projects in the fields of housing, urban infrastructure, transport and mobility, nature in cities and urban agriculture allowed the participants to exchange on innovative solutions to cope with vulnerabilities.

As a result of this seminar, a collaborative position paper will be published in order to contribute to the international debate on the new urban agenda in preparation to Habitat III.

PU-Résilience urbaine-France PU Urban ecology and resilience FRANCE_EN


 Séminaire PFVT - Résilience urbaine_Programme


RU1. Enjeux Resilience urbaine_JL DUbois-IRD RU5. Structuration foncière et aide à l’action en temps d’urgence_M Barth-IRCOD RU10. Inondations Enjeux de résilience-X Maitrerobert-Veolia
RU2. Resilience des populations urbaines_A Burlat-Groupe URD RU7. Reconstruction Economique et Sociale en milieu Urbain_S Joachim-AFD RU11. Transport artisanal-Ville durable_E Ducharme-CODATU
RU3. Résilience climatique et migrations_M Richard-RAC RU8. Projet de développement en contexte post-crise_B Michelon-Groupe Huit

RU12. Réserve naturelle urbaine et gestion des risques climatiques-J Lecroart-Artelia

RU4. Urgence et Populations_C Aurouet-Croix-Rouge RU9. Appui à la Reconstruction Baillergeau_E Barrau-Gret RU13. Agriculture urbaine à Antananarivo_ D Jean-Région Ile-de-France
Cities for all: what right(s) to the city?

The seminar What rights to the city: cities for all took place over two half-days on 19 and 26 November 2015. The seminar was part of the French actors in the field of urbanism's preparation for the Habitat III conference, and it enabled deeper discussions to be held on the central themes of the forthcoming conference: environmental, social and spatial inequalities, access to basic services and social inclusion and cohesion.

The first workshop enabled actors from civil society, researchers and private and public sector representatives to better identify and define, in a concerted manner, the notion of the right to the city, which is linked to questions of use of public space and the reclaiming of city centres. The second workshop enabled a reflection to take place on the challenges of social inclusion and citizen participation, via the presentation of projects by members of the PFVT (French Alliance for Cities and Territorial Development), notably in Lebanon, Morocco and Haiti.

PU Villes pour tous- FRANCE PU Cities for all FRANCE_EN


Séminaire PFVT La culture dans la ville - Programme    
 VT1_CGET_Definition de la geographie prioritaire Outre-mer  VT2_Groupe8_Politique pour une ville inclusive Maroc VT3_Region Ile de France_ Charte de territoire Liban 



Digital innovations and urban services

Invitation Séminaire smart citiesThe seminar on Digital innovations and urban services held on 30 November 2015 brought together various organisations from civil society, the public and private sectors and the academic sphere around the challenge of digital technologies and their impact on cities and territories.

The participants exchanged thoughts and ideas on the opportunities created by new technologies for territorial development but also the risks involved, which local authorities need to guard against, as well as the development of urban services in the areas of mobility and energy, among others, through dedicated applications. The role of local authorities was also examined in terms of the promotion, appropriation and regulation of those new technologies.

Recommendations were drafted so that digital innovation becomes a lever for improving the delivery and quality of urban services.

PU- Services urbains et nouvelles technologies-France PU Urban services and technology FRANCE-EN


 Innovations numériques et services urbains - programme    
 INSU3_AFD_Numérique et developpement INSU6_Technologies numériques adressage Nouakchott  INSU8_Efficacity_Institut transition énergétique de la ville 
 INSU5_NAVIDIS_Plateforme de services de porximité  INSU7_CODATU_Mobilités connectées