Under the leadership of Harold Guerrero, Mayor of Pasto, and co-organized by the UCLG Working Group on Intermediary Cities, Findeter and the International Labour Organization (ILO), the city of Pasto held a learning exchange between 27 and 30 January, focusing on the issues of local economic development and urban-rural policies for intermediary cities.
The exchange brought together national and international experts, and representatives of local, regional and national governments, who shared their experiences and visions. The event emphasized the importance of urban-rural policies oriented towards economic development that seek to address the needs and potential of rural areas, through an economy of proximity.
Pasto’s urban-rural development
The city of Pasto organized site visits to one of the main markets in the city, which enabled participants to better understand the main challenges and opportunities linked to production, distribution and consumption in practice. Participants noted that an economy of proximity, involving the consumption of food produced in the region, represented one of the biggest opportunities to boost local economic development and create decent work in the region.
The learning exchange demonstrated the crucial role that food markets, which are the responsibility of local governments, can play in rural development. Several cities shared their experiences of urban policies, investment and consultations in adapting their food market systems.
An economy of proximity represented one of the biggest opportunities to boost local economic development and decent work opportunities in the region.
The mayor of Pasto shared the challenge of a market in a vulnerable area, which grew from a temporary market following a disaster in the 1960s to become the wholesale hub of the city. A new wholesale market is planned, but the city is aware that the current market cannot simply be closed.
The global agenda on urban development will be re-defined during the United Nations Habitat III Conference in 2016. This will involve a re-orientation of urban policies and the opportunity to highlight the role of local governments, in particular intermediary cities, as agents of development in the global urban agenda.
Watch the video of the sessions.