Preparation of Syria State of Cities Report (Preparatory Phase)



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Syrian Arab Republic


With an are of 185,180 km2 and a resident population in 2005 of 18.4 million, Syria has one of the higher population densities in the Middle East-100 persons per hectare. Gross national income per capita places Syria at the lower end of its Middle East and North Africa (MENA)peers, with an urbanization level of 53 percent (2003) as compared to 59 percent in the MENA Region. The urban population has been rising at a rapid rate, at about 3.3 percent over the last 15 years. There is a rising concern over excessive growth, and calls for balance are now being made. The proposed activities aim to address five key areas through the production the first Syrian State of the Cities Report: local economic development, improved urban service delivery, maintenance and rehabilitation of the urban environment, a more efficient nad balanced spatial developement, and administrative and fiscal modernization.
Specific objectives for the preparatory phase are: (i) Complete a proposal for the preparation of a State of the Cities Report, including agreement on key issues to be discussed in the Report and specific data to be collected; (ii)Develop a joint platform among participating organizations that includes institutionalized meetings of the City Mayors and a Web Urban e-Platform to successfully prepare a State of the Cities Report and to communicate and share experience beyond in the future; (iii) Initiate the collection of data, indicators and benchmarks, and prepare issue papers in outline form as basis of the State of the Cities Report.
Specific activities include: 1) An outline of the SoCR including key issues to be addressed, key data to be collected and analyzed; 2) The distribution of activities and oversight responsibilities in preparing the SoCR, including overall editorial control, drafting responsibilities for individual issue papers, data collection and analysis, graphics and layout, and other aspects on the production; 3) Organization of the data part of the report, including the type of data to be collected and published; 4) Agreement on the experts charged with the responsibility of writing, data collection and analysis, discussions on public policy, and public presentations.
Expected Impacts and Results
The results of the preparatory phase will be a proposal for the preparation of the SoCR, including a detailed work plan and budget, funding sources, and an implementation schedule. A broader outcome of this phase will be the strengthening of participating institutions, increased awareness and shared knowledge of municipal issues. The phase will establish and test a platform that offers City Mayors a method of networking, communication, and exchange. The platform will initially consist of an Annual Conference of Mayors and a Web Urban e-Platform.